Cava Tasting

 

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I was able to squeeze in this tasting the night before the lockdown on March 15th and it was held at Corkbuzz wine bar and restaurant at 13 East 13th Street, just south of Union Square Park in Manhattan.

Cava is a sparking wine produced in Spain. It comes from the Penedès wine region in Catalonia and is not far from the city of Barcelona.

To be called Cava, the wine  must be made using the methode champenoise. The traditional grape varietals used in making Cava are the indigenous Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada varietals with the non native varietals of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir now used as well.

It might be heresy for me to say, but if I’m looking for a budget sparkler I much rather have a glass of Cava than a glass of Prosecco.

 

NV Barcino Brut “Belle Epoque”

(50% Macabeo, 30% Xarel-lo, 20% Parellada)

 

NV Casas del Mar Brut Blanc de Blanc

(40% Xarel-lo, 30% Macabeo, 30% Parellada)

 

2016 Juvé & Camps Brut “Essential Reserva”

(100% Xarel-lo)

 

2018 Naveran Brut “Dama”

(85% Chardonnay, 15% Parellada)

 

2017 Alta Alella Mirgin Reserva Brut Nature

(40% Pansa Bianca, 30% Parellada, 30% Macabeu)

 

2013 Agusti Torelló Mata Gran Reserva Brut Nature

(38% Macabeo, 34% Parellada, 28% Xarel-lo)

 

NV Eudald Massana Noya Reserva Brut Nature

(Macabeu, Xarel-lo, Parellada, Chardonnay)

 

NV Josep Foraster Rosat Reserva

(100% Trepat)

 

NV Conquilla Brut Rosé

(100% Pinot Noir)

 

NV Pere Mata Rosé Brut Nature “Cupada”

(70% Garnatxa, 30% Parellada)

 

NV Dibon Brut Rosé

(100% Garnacha)

 

 

2016 Muga Reserva Rioja

 

This is my first Spanish red wine of the “lockdown” season and after a string of mediocre red wines, it was nice to finally drink something interesting.

The wine is from Rioja and is a reserva. The aging requirements for a Reserva from this vintage (which have since been modified) dictate three years of aging, two years in bottle and one year in oak before release.  This wine was aged for two years in oak casks before release.

70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 10% Mazuelo

 

2016 Muga Reserva Rioja:  Opaque dark red in color, pretty perfume of roast meat, roasted nuts, and raspberry filled dark chocolate, chewy, dusty fruit with silky, crunchy tannins on the finish. Some heat on the back end. 

 

 

2018 Josh Cellars Rosé California

 

 

Now that the warmer weather is upon us, it’s rosé time. I like a glass of rosé on a warm day. To me they are the casual wear of the wine world, nothing serious to make a fuss about and as long as it’s not sweet, I’ll drink it.

Josh Cellars was founded in 2007 by Joseph Carr and named as a tribute to his Dad, Josh. They produce wines sourced from across the California winegrowing regions.

 

2018 Josh Cellars Rosé California:  Clear copper in color, nose of watermelon and sweet strawberry, dry with light cherry notes and some earthiness on the finish, easy drinking. 

 

 

 

2015 Markham Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley

 

Markham Vineyards is one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, founded in 1874 by French immigrant, Jean Laurent.

The 2015 vintage in Napa was another drought year in wine country that produced a small crop but good quality wines.

 

2015 Markham Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley:  Clear medium red with a purple rim, nice perfume of earthy raspberries and violets. dusty, chewy, crushed black fruit ending with moderate tannins and acids, nice balance.

 

 

2015 Andrew Rich “Glacial” GSM Columbia Valley

 

This wine is from Washington State and is a Rhone blend of 52% Syrah, 26% Mourvedre and 22% Grenache.

Washington State is the second largest producer of premium wines in the United State with over 1,000 wineries with most in the Eastern part of the State. This is the first time I’ve drank something from this producer.

 

2015 Andrew Rich Glacial GSM: Opaque dark red with a purple rim, crushed stone, cigar smoke and ripe raspberry on the nose, dense black fruit with crushed blueberry and toast notes on the finish with moderate tannins and mouth watering acids. After the bottle has been opened overnight, I got roast meat notes on the nose. 

 

 

2016 Beringer Chardonnay Luminus Oak Knoll District

 

 

Beringer is an historic vineyard that has been producing wines in Napa Valley since 1869 and maintains a large portfolio of wines. This is a single vineyard Chardonnay from their “Distinction Series” of wines.

 

2016 Chardonnay “Luminus” Oak Knoll DistrictDark gold in color, ripe melon and pineapple on the nose, not as juicy as it looks, tight lemon/lime notes on the fruit with coconut and glycerin on the finish . 

 

 

2016 Juggernaut Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

 

Juggernaut Wine Company is a division of Bogle Vineyards which is a family owned and operated winery that produces drinkable budget friendly wines. Their Juggernaut brand focuses on small production wines.

I’ve never had a wine from this brand before and even before tasting the wine I was impressed by the cool label and hefty bottle.

 

2016 Juggernaut Pinot Noir Russian River Valley: Clear, medium to light red in color, cola, cinnamon, red licorice and some earth notes on the nose, juicy red fruit with moderate to low tannins. Easy drinking. Going back to the bottle the next day I was getting pencil shavings on the nose. 

 

 

2016 Buehler Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

 

 

Buehler Vineyards is a 4th generation run vineyard perched on a mountain East of Saint Helena in Napa Valley.

This is their entry level Cabernet Sauvignon and is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot.

2016 Buehler Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon: Opaque dark red, red leather, red licorice and roast meat on the nose, silky dark red fruit of crushed rocks with crunchy tannins and green herb notes on the moderate to long finish.

 

2015 Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva

 

 

The Frescobaldi family have been involved in the political and social life of Tuscany for over 700 years. They’ve been making wine as well.

They produce wine from their six estates in Tuscany as well as producing famous wines such as Ornellaia from outside the region.

This wine is a DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantitia) that comes from Rufina which is the smallest of the seven sub-zones of the Chianti region. As a Riserva it’s aged a minimum of 24 months in oak before release.

 

2015 Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva:  Opaque medium brick, perfume of camphor, black olives and roast meat, moderate fruit with big, silky tannins on the finish.