Editor’s Note: This is the 3rd chapter we are publishing ofÂ Valencia Land of Wine (see 1st and 2nd chapter). Articles are written by Joan C. Martin, and translated by John Maher. Each story is straight from the pages of El Pais’s Valencian edition that highlights an aspect of Valencian wine history through the story of one wine. If you are enjoying the stories, you might consider buying a copy with this link:Valencia Land of Wine.
Dominio de la Vega Especial: A Singular Cava
Dominio de la Vega, San Antonio (DO Utiel-Requena)
Dominio de la Vega is a Cava created only a few years ago by Fermín Pardo, Emilio Expósito and Ãlvaro Faubel, who were among the original shareholders of Torre Oria Wines and Cava, but they left after internal business disagreements. These three musketeers, with their magnificent fighting spirit, started all over again by setting up another bodega to make quality wines and Cavas. And they’ve done it. The range of wines is excellent, especially the Añacal oak-aged white (Macabeo) and red (Bobal, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon). They also make two Cavas: Brut and Brut Reserva. The former is young, dry, very fruity with small and neat bubbles. The other is a unique and remarkable Cava. The annual Enoforum wine fair voted it Spain‘s best in 2004 and again in 2006 (the result of a blind tasting by winemakers from different Spanish bodegas). The Brut Reserva is seductive, with its small, fine bubbles, rising up the glass like a well-drilled infantry regiment, with long-lasting effervescence. It has good fruit, but also shows that hint of age which reserva Cavas achieve after resting with the yeast lees in the bottleneck after clarification.
We have before us a great Cava, clean, natural and aromatic, with hints of nut (walnut and hazelnut) and very much a Brut with just five grams of sugar per litre. A good Cava depends on the quality of the final “shipping dosageâ€ (usually sugar plus some of the same wine that has been reserved for this purpose) added immediately before final bottling. I have seen fine Cavas ruined by the addition of dosages from hell. The Dominio de la Vega shipping dosage is exceptional, clean, honest and healthy. All of these qualities are characteristic of the winemaker, Daniel Expósito, who after studying at the Requena Wine School spent time at KÃ¶nig Rheingau in Germany. The German sparkling wine industry is the most advanced when it comes to secondary fermentation, and though they have generally gone for second fermentation in tank (the Charmat Method) rather than in bottle, their use of technology and their winemaking culture is masterly. I have had the honour of being on the tasting committee of the leading Sekt producer, Henkell in Wiesbaden, and few professional experiences have been as educational.
Dominio de la Vega is based in a restored eighteenth-century building that is well worth a visit, and which has its own story as an exiled count’s residence that eventually became a wine mansion. And this is exactly what this bodega is, a mansion of Cavas and fine wines.
Label: Dominio de la Vega especial
Type: Brut reserva 24 months in cellar
Grapes: Macabeo, Chardonnay
Approx. price: €17–18
Bodega: Dominio de la Vega
Address: Carretera Madrid-Valencia km 270, San Antonio 46340, Valencia