It is not every day you get the chance to try a line-up like this, so I must admit I had been excited for weeks beforehand. And it really was just so interesting and exciting as I thought. This is my thoughts about the experience... For you who are not really aquatinted with these cavas and champagnes I can just give you the very brief details. Cavas: ENOTECA BRUT NATURE 2001: 75% Xarel-lo and 25% Macabeu, from Gramona. LA CAPELLA 2005: 100% single vineyard Xarel-lo, from Juvé y Camps. TURÓ D'EN MOTA 2005: 100% single vineyard Xarel-lo, from Recaredo.
Champagnes: SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL CUVÉE 2000: Pinot noir and chardonnay, from Pol Roger. DOM PERIGNON 2006: chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot munier, from Moët & Chandon.
To start with we compared the two younger cavas with Dom Perignon of nearly the same age. And after that SWCC and Enoteca.
Before we started I really thought that the notes coming from the aging would be predominant and have made the sparkling wines more similar. Although all wines had very distinct aged notes there was a huge differens which I had not counted on. What struck us all was how very vibrant and alive all the cavas were compared to the champagnes of nearly the same age. The cavas had together with the aged notes of bread, nuts and biscuits ALSO a great balance of fruitiness left in them. The Champagnes were broader, softer and had both clearly more oxidized notes of yellow apple to them, that the cavas did not. I love them all for their own uniqueness, but it was truly striking that all the cavas still felt so young after all this time!
Especially Enoteca 2001 (being so old) is truly amazing in its vibrant freshness!
I have always liked "old" wines, because I love what the aging does with the wine. Hence I have for a very long time had Sir Winston rated at the top of my list. But to be honest... to get both these fantastic aged notes together with a freshness and elegance shown by Grsmona's Enoteca is amazing.
This same is true for the younger bottles of Turó d'en Mota and La Capella compared with Dom Perignon. The cavas are still super fresh and complex, while the Dom is more rounded and of course complex, but more bombastic than elegant.
One thing that might explain this is something I learned from Xavier Gramona, when he visited Stockholm in March. He explained that Xarel-lo is a perfect wine for aging since the variety contains the highest levels of antioxidants of any white grape. Maybe it is these antioxidants that keep the cavas so fresh after all this time?
I promise I will write a blogpost on all the cavas, all in due course. They deserve nothing less!