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The Spanish Cava that Saved the Party

It seemed like a good idea at the time. My local wine seller said Emeri Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc was “a guaranteed crowd-pleaser” from down under and some non wine geeks were coming over for dinner. A “sparking savvie” seemed a bit weird, but less strange than the same vintner´s 100% Syrah red sparkler which and was not bad at all. And I’m a big sauvignon blanc fan. And some interesting stuff is coming from Australia. I was intrigued. How bad could it be?

I found out. The guests arrived, and with the usual weekend pomp, we popped cork and we gave it a taste. Was it my imagination or did all conversation stop? Now, I like almost all wine, but I couldn’t get through a glass of this stuff. Cloying: pure 7-UP: yukkie. Since I bought it, I figured I had the right to a theatrical critique. I headed for the kitchen sink and dumped. This was no way to start a little dinner party. I feared the worst.

Luckily someone had picked up an Albet i Noya, Brut Reserva and it was waiting in the frig. So when a critical mass of guests had politely made their way through their glass (or followed me to the sink), I wasted no time. Now, this sparkler was more like it; the real thing. Was it my imagination or did the conversation pick up? The party was back on track and from then on all was smooth sailing.

The next day I wondered if all this might not be just another example of good vibes (and my sense of relief) influencing the taste buds. And, in any case, I definitely owed Albet i Noya one.

So I bought another bottle and two of us sat down to a more cold-blooded tasting. This cava passed with flying colors. It was fresh and citrusy with orange and lemon on the nose. It had a beautifully balanced mouth with nice acidity and a smooth creamy mousse, possibly due to the 20% Chardonnay that is blended along with the usual Macabeu, Parrellada, Xarel-leo. Now at 18 bucks a bottle this Brut Reserva is not a bargain-bin special kind of cava. But for me, it was money well spent. So, here’s to you, Albet i Noya!

Albet i Noya is a “certified organic estate” located a short drive from Barcelona near Subirats, Catalunya, Spain. To learn more check out the Albet i Noya website and let us know in the comments if you’ve had a wine save the day! 🙂


Michael Oudyn

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