Bodegas Naveran Brut Nature Cava 2014
Cavas are very versatile as an aperitif before the meal, to accompany dessert afterwards and (surprise!) to enjoy during the meal. This Naveran Brut Nature will pair with soft cheeses, fresh fruit, white meats (pork and chicken) and even richly flavored red meats. This Cava is great for sipping on its own, especially for receptions and other “"standing up" events.
Bodegas Naveran is a premium Cava producer that uses estate-grown organic grapes. The Naveran family legacy began in 1901 and today, their estate owns 110 hectares (272 acres) of vines in the town of Torrelavit located in the Alt (high) Penedès subregion in northeastern Spain. Despite the fact that Cava is Spain’s largest volume wine export to the U.S., Cavas are made utilizing the same methods used in Champagne and have remained Spain’s best-kept secret for quality and value in wine. Unlike the majority of the big Cava houses that purchase most of their grapes, Naveran makes handcrafted Cavas from their own vineyards.
Proprietor Michel Gilleron Parellada's goal with this Cava is to show the purity, youth and bright flavor characters of this special place. Xarello (10%) and Chardonnay (20%) contribute body, Macabeo (40%) gives aromatic intensity and Parellada (30%) lends acidity to the wine. The organically grown (non-certified) vines were planted between the course of 1970 to 1995 and the soil is tended in clay and limestone soil at 252 m (827 ft) elevation. The Naveran estate's higher elevation allows the grapes to retain more natural acidity, which results in wines that are zesty, fresh and have expressive aromas. Naveran Brut Nature spends 18 months on lees after fermentation in the bottle to achieve greater depth, complexity, and long-lasting bubbles.
What makes this wine unique? Bodegas Naveran is 100% estate-owned and their vineyards are organically grown for higher quality control. Also, old vines result in smaller yields which increase concentration and grape quality. This winery also has its very own bottling production for all of their vintage cavas. Did you know 85% of the cavas made by Naveran are sold in France, the birthplace and home of Champagne?
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, Spanish 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 wine. 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 sparkling wine 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 wine 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.
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.