Tag Archives: cava

Dibon Brut Reserve

The youngest Fredling is very musical.  He loves to sing.  The other night we had all been listening to REM.  He went around and around the house belting out “It’s the end of the world as we know it.”  Unfortunately that’s all he knew of the song so that’s all we got.  A Cava I recently tried: Dibon Brut Reserve (NV) was a lot like that.  It wasn’t bad, just pretty much a one note wonder.   In this case it was apples.  I kept hoping for at least an “and I feel fine” part either in the song or the wine, but neither ever materialized.  It also had very coarse, but plentiful bubbles .  As I said not bad, but there are others I like more for around the same price.  I picked it up at Frederick Wine House for $10.99.  It had a tag around the neck saying the Wine Enthusiast gave it 88 points but I would go 3-4 points lower.  It would be really nice if you were going to use it as a base for some sparkling punch.

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Cristallino- A Value Sparkler


 Continuing in my never ending quest for good wine at a good price I want to pass on a decent value that I had the other day.  Its a Spanish Non-Vintage Cava called Cristallino Cava Brut.   Cava is Spanish sparkling wine and has a reputation for having some great values.  Under Spanish law, it can only be produced in six wine regions (mainly in the Pendes region to the West of Barcelona) and is made according to the same methods as Champagne is (i.e. with second fermentation in the bottle).  It can be made from a blend of any of six grapes: Macabeo, Parellada, Xarel-lo, Chardonnay, Pinot noir, and Subirat.

I picked it up for $9.99 at the Spirit Shop on 7th street.  It had lots  of fine bubbles with nose of pineapple and orange. Very crisp with lots of great acidity and flavors of lemon and orange. Hint of bread on the finish. Had worse Champagnes at eight times the price.  Looking online I saw that some people elsewhere in the country had seen this on sale for $6-7.  It would be a terrific value at that price.  Great with a variety of food and decent just to drink alone.  We had it with a Kabocha squash- pasta recipe and it turned out to be one of those phenomenal wine-food pairings that makes me all geeky as the tart acidity and citrus really played  off the sweetness of the squash.  Rating:  a solid 88.

As a follow up to my October 31st  post:  on election night I had a bottle of  N.V. Mumm Napa Blanc de Noirs ($18, Spirit Shop) a rose California sparkler, which I gave an 86+ to.  Was decent, if it had any flaws it was just that it was on the plain side.  You can do as well if not better for less money.

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A Fine Summer Rose

Regular readers will know my fondness for sparkling wines especially Prosecco from Italy.  Always up for new wine experiences, and hearing so many great things about cava (Spanish sparkling wines), we recently  tried one that turned out to be a great summer wine.  It was Celler Vilafranca Penedès Casteller Brut Rosé

This is a non-vintage sparkler from the Spanish region of Catalunya.  It is rose and made up of 70% Trepat and 30% Garnacha grapes.  With a medium amount of bubbles it was a pale salmon color and smelled of strawberries with a hint of mandarin oranges.  Very light and refreshing it had lots of fruity flavors of raspberries and strawberries with a nice crisp, but not overly acidic finish.  Not a complex or profound wine so I gave it an 87, but at $10.99 from the Frederick Wine House it is a great QPR for a fun summer quaffing wine.    I will be returning to this one before the summer is over!



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