Mont-Marcal Cava Brut Reserva 1999
Manuel Sancho's 230-acre estate, "Finca Manlleu," is located on a prominent chalky knoll five miles south of Vilafranca del Penedès overlooking the hamlet of Sant Marcal. One hundred acres are planted to Parellada, Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Chardonnay for white wines; Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for reds. The "Mont" provides 360-degree exposure, creating a wide variety of microclimates for maturation of the various varieties.
In 1975, Manuel Sancho purchased a neglected 19th-century convent, originally a 14th-century farmhouse, converting it to a state-of-the-art winemaking facility and initiating the restructuring of the vineyards. Recent excavation has expanded the CAVA aging and bottling capacity, at the same time revealing medieval underground passageways in the chalk which have been carefully preserved for additional bottle storage.
Intrinsic vineyard quality and careful handling of the grapes obtain a naturally-rich base wine in little need of dosage. Mont-Marcal Brut Reserva is produced from the indigenous white grapes, Parellada, Macabeo, Chardonnay and Xarel-lo, aged at least 24 months with the yeast, and disgorged on order for shipment.
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 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 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.