Avinyo Cava Gran Reserva Brut Nature La Ticota 2010
Produced in very limited quantities from the best vintages, it is among the great single-vineyard sparkling wines of the world. La Ticota is currently undergoing the certification process in the newly-formed Cava de Paraje designation of the Cava D.O., a new category that recognizes the uniqueness of “a smaller area” of the appellation on the label, similar to Burgundy’s climats or lieux-dits.
Blend: 85% Xarel-lo,15% Macabeu
Up until the late 19th century, the Esteve family of Avinyó subsisted on the growing and selling of cereal crops, legumes, and a little bit of wine, all grown around their traditional horseshoe-shaped farmhouse, Can Fontanal. But when phylloxera crossed the border from France into Spain, the family was dealt a double blow. The pest completely destroyed their vineyards and their savings when concerns over the louse caused a run on the region’s largest banks.
Faced with starting over, Joan Esteve Marcè saw the opportunity in hardship and developed a plan to pull the family back from the verge of bankruptcy. He traveled to France in search of phylloxera-resistant vines. When he returned to the estate, all of the Esteve Family vineyards were replanted with new rootstocks immune to the pest. His calculated gamble paid off, and he spent the rest of his life modernizing the winery and increasing production. In the same spirit of innovation that led Joan Esteve Marcè to France, Joan Esteve Nadal brought the first tractor to Penedès in 1957. He expanded the family’s holdings to four parcels totaling about 40 hectares and replanted many of the vineyards with the indigenous varieties of xarello, parellada, and macabeu. As a result, Avinyó farms only estate-owned vineyards, a rarity among cava producers.
Today, another generation is at the helm. Four siblings blend tradition, technology, and a relentless pursuit of quality to make their distinctive cavas. Extended lees aging, on-demand disgorgement, vintage dating, and ever-evolving organic farming all signal that the Esteve family will keep innovating and excelling for generations to come.
Known for bold reds, crisp whites and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place primary emphasis on its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally hot and dry. In the center of the country lies a vast, arid plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought.
Ribera del Duero is gaining ground for Spanish wines with its single varietal Tempranillo wines, recognized for their concentration of fruit and opulence. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, specializes in bold, full-bodied red blends of Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate.
Representing the topmost expression of a Champagne house, a vintage Champagne is one made from the produce of a single, superior harvest year. Vintage Champagnes account for a mere 5% of total Champagne production and are produced about three times in a decade. Champagne is typically made as a blend of multiple years in order to preserve the house style; these will have non-vintage, or simply, NV on the label. The term, "vintage," as it applies to all wine, simply means a single harvest year.