It’s Mother’s Day and I’m happy to sit down after a day at the winery to dinner made for me, cookies, roses – the works! Top it off with some Cava, a bubbly for my possibly-broken-but-can’t-be-sure-about-it toe. I saved the life of a Taylor guitar but sacrificed my foot.
This Cava is by Freixenet – founded in 1861 by Pedro Ferrer whose family owned La Freixeneda in Alt Penedes and joined later by the Salas family from San Sadurni Di Noya in Catalunya, owners of Casa Sala.
When the two families joined, it coincided with the unhappy advent of phylloxera in the 1870s. After the bug attacked Spanish vineyards, the Ferrer and Salas families decided to replant with Spanish varietals – Macabeu/Viura, Parellada and Xarello. These have since become the backbone of the Spanish Cava industry. This version is a blend of all three with neutral and acidic Macabeu leading the way, followed by the earthy Xarello and then Parellada.
Freixenet has two well known Cavas – the Carta Nevada (1941) and this one, the Cordon Negro (1974), easily identifiable in its black matte bottle. There’s also a Cordon Rosado. Sponsor of Spain’s MotoGP world championship and the Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle racing team, the company is well known in the Spanish-speaking world for its annual Christmas messages launched by famous actors and actresses including Antonia Banderas, Sharon Stone and Shakira.
This sparkling wine is a clear and bright, pale lemon-green with bubbles. On the nose, it’s got light aromas of lime and lemon zest, green apple and yeast.
The palate is dry with medium acidity, an aggressive mousse and average alcohol. The flavours are moderate and include lemon, lime, pomelo and yellow grapefruit with tart green and yellow apples and the slightest bit of toasty yeast. The finish is medium and there is a slightly bitter element on the end from the Xarello.
WSET Good; made in the traditional method, it has an aggressive mousse and relatively short finish combined with an average fruit and aroma profile. The wine is balanced, but not complex. That said, it’s completely serviceable, is definitely doing its thing; for $15, you cannot lose.