Avinyo Reserva Brut Rose Cava 2018
A bright, cherry-colored wine with well-structured bubbles. On the nose, the wine is intensely aromatic, highlighted by raspberry and licorice tones. On the pallet, the wine is light and fresh, with herbal undertones that highlight the grape varietals in the wine.
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.
What is Cava?
Spain adopted the word, cava, which technically means ‘cellar’ in Catalan, to describe their sparkling wines made using the traditional method. While this style was first created outside of Spain in the 1600s, its birthplace inside of Spain came in 1872 when Jose Raventós of Codorníu first produced traditional method sparkling wine in the town of San Sadurní d’Anoia. Uniquely, the Cava denomination isn’t restricted to one geographical area but rather, it spans eight total wine regions. However, about 90% of Spain’s total production of Cava sparkling wine happens within Catalonia, and about 75% is produced within the borders of San Sadurní d’Anoia, inside the smaller Catalan region of Penedès. In 2019, Spain registered nearly 38,000 hectares of vineyards for Cava production, compared to just under 34,000 in Champagne.
How is Cava sparkling wine made?
Cava, like many other sparkling wines of the world is made using the traditional method, or "Champagne method," or método tradicional in Spanish, in which the second fermentation (the one that makes the bubbles) takes place inside the bottle. With this method, spent yeast cells remain in contact with the wine during bottle aging, giving it a creamy mouthful, a toasted bread or brioche quality and in many cases, the capacity to age.
What are the Cava wine grapes?
The mainstay Cava grape varieties include Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo. Macabeo, also known as Viura, lends pleasant aromatics to the blend, while Parellada adds acidity and finesse. Xarel-lo is the grape that gives body, earth and greengage characteristics to Cava. Occasionally Chardonnay is used as a blending grape or sole variety in making Cava. Governmental inclusion approval was awarded in 1986 but still, Chardonnay makes up only a fraction of total vineyard area. For rosé, in Spanish called rosado, the local Trepat and Garnacha can be used, along with Pinot Noir (first permitted in 1998 for rosado and in 2007 for white Cavas).
Cava Tasting Profile
Since Cava is a sparkling wine produced on the Mediterranean where temperatures are warmer and there is more sunshine compared with Champagne, you can expect that Cava will generally have a gentler acid profile compared with its French counterpart. Furthermore, especially when the indigenous varieties are used, common Cava flavors will include citrus peel, fennel, wildflower, lemon blossom and flint or saline. Most Cava is produced in the Brut style, so dry, with a slightly rounder finish that balances brightness with brioche notes and supple fruit. Brut Nature or Zero Dosage examples are bone dry, whereas Extra-Dry Cava will be slightly sweet and a Demi-Sec Cava will have the highest sweetness level.
One of the best things about pairing Cava is you can drink it on its own or with just about any food! But if you want to focus on bringing out Cava's uniquely brilliant bouquet and citrus notes, rich or seafood-centric dishes are perfect food pairings for Cava. Try Cava with butter poached lobster, seafood risotto, puff pastry and caramelized onions or fried chicken.
What are the different types of sparkling rosé wine?
Rosé sparkling wines like Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and others make a fun and festive alternative to regular bubbles—but don’t snub these as not as important as their clear counterparts. Rosé Champagnes (i.e., those coming from the Champagne region of France) are made in the same basic way as regular Champagne, from the same grapes and the same region. Most other regions where sparkling wine is produced, and where red grape varieties also grow, also make a rosé version.
How is sparkling rosé wine made?
There are two main methods to make rosé sparkling wine. Typically, either white wine is blended with red wine to make a rosé base wine, or only red grapes are used but spend a short period of time on their skins (maceration) to make rosé colored juice before pressing and fermentation. In either case the base wine goes through a second fermentation (the one that makes the bubbles) through any of the various sparkling wine making methods.
What gives rosé Champagne and sparkling wine their color and bubbles?
The bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, which traps carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel. During this stage, the yeast cells can absorb some of the wine’s color but for the most part, the pink hue remains.
How do you serve rosé sparkling wine?
Treat rosé sparkling wine as you would treat any Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and other sparkling wine of comparable quality. For storing in any long-term sense, these should be kept at cellar temperature, about 55F. For serving, cool to about 40F to 50F. As for drinking, the best glasses have a stem and a flute or tulip shape to allow the bead (bubbles) and beautiful rosé hue to show.
How long do rosé Champagne and sparkling wine last?
Most rosé versions of Prosecco, Champagne, Cava or others around the “$20 and under” price point are intended for early consumption. Those made using the traditional method with extended cellar time before release (e.g., Champagne or Crémant) can typically improve with age. If you are unsure, definitely consult a wine professional for guidance.