I think we can all agree that a glass of sparkling wine makes any occasion (more fun). And, who doesn’t want to have fun on Valentine’s Day? Whether you celebrate with your spouse, partner, friend(s) or on your own, a glass of sparkling wine is in order to celebrate love. That glass might as well contain Cava, the traditional method sparkling wine that originated in Penedés near Barcelona — and specifically it should be Vilarnau. The bottles are beautiful, their contents are delicious and they’re organic. Have I convinced you yet? If not, read on for the details. We received these wines as tasting samples.
Local winemaker, José (Josep) Raventós, brought the idea of making traditional method sparkling wine to Penedés after visiting Champagne in the 1860s. By 1872 the first traditional method sparkling wine was released in the municipality of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia and eventually called Cava (the Catalan word for cave).
The charm of Cava lies the grape varieties used to make the base wines and the painstaking way it is made. The most common grape varieties used are Macabeo, Xarel·lo and Parellada, also the most widely planted varieties in DO Cava. Chardonnay, Garnacha, Subirat Parent (Malvasía), Trepat, Pinot Noir and Monastrell are also authorized grape varieties. The use of local grape varieties gives Cava a flavor profile all its own.
Vilarnau’s history in Penedés dates back to the 12th century and the name is a contraction of Vila Arnau (Arnau family’s country house). The first Vilarnau Cava was created in 1949 from grapes grown on the Can Petit i Les Planes de Vilarnau estate, where grapes had been grown for centuries.
Vilarnau still looks after this 50-acre estate near Barcelona and employs sustainable and organic practices. Both wines in this tasting are made with organic grapes and certified organic by CCPAE (Catalonia) and the European Union; both are also certified vegan by the European Vegetarian Union. The beautiful and distinctive bottle labels pay homage to Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.
Vilarnau Brut Reserva NV, Cava — pale golden with vigorous bubbles. Generous aromas include white flowers and ripe pears. Flavors follow the aromas with pears, perfume and white flowers. Citrusy acidity provides a clean finish. 11.5% abv. SRP $14.99
The blend is 50% Macabeo, 35% Parellada, 15% Xarel·lo. Aged over 15 months in the bottle.
Vilarnau Brut Rosé Delicat Reserva NV, Cava — medium salmon with vigorous bubbles. Aromas of blackberries and earth follow into the flavors with more berries, earth and citrusy acidity with a clean finish. 12% abv. SRP $15.99
The blend is 85% Garnacha, 15% Pinot Noir. Aged over 15 months in the bottle.
Both of these wines are balanced and flavorful. Mouth filling bubbles make them a pleasure to sip and they are certainly pretty in the glass — perfect for Valentine’s Day.
I hope I have convinced you to give Vilalrnau Cava a try. It is very tasty and very reasonably priced. And the bottles are nothing short of gorgeous.
Thanks to Donna White Communications for organizing our tasting.