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Cava – The Sparkling Wine of Spain + Art by Ed Fraga

Valldolina Cava Reserva “Brut Nature”

While your sipping this scandalously drinkable wine with aromas of apple blossom, wheat crackers, and sunshine, enjoy nine new works at our inaugural Wine & Art series, Ed Fraga : Fugitive Speculations. Fraga’s paintings and drawings are in the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Cranbrook Art Museum, Flint Institute of Arts and The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Champagne gave the world its thirst for sparkling wine, Catalunya gave the world Cava. Both are made using the traditional method (méthode champenoise in the Champagne region) that requires a minimum amount of bottle aging where the wines develop their trademark depth and complexity. Yet the two distinct climates, soils and grape varieties produce wines that truly speak of place.

Almost all Cava production is centered in the Penedès region of Spain a short distance southwest of the city of Barcelona. But it’s the mountainous sub-zone of the Massís del Garraf where soil and microclimate yield fruit with the concentration and balance required for singular, world-class, sparkling wine. This superior geography is home to visionary winemaker Raimon Badell of Celler Masia Can Tutusaus. Rai believes in making contemporary wines that respect Mediterranean culture without becoming mired in convention. Certified biodynamic in Spain, he has the utmost respect for his vines and soil.

A value at twice the price, the current release of Cava Valldolina Brut Nature Reserva is a blend of the holy trinity of Cava grapes: 37% Xarel-lo, 32% Macabeu, and 24% Parellada, with a dash of Chardonnay. The vintage is 2012 and disgorgement is April 2015, giving this over 26 months of bottle aging, just a few months shy of gran reserva, the highest possible classification for Cava. The “Brut Nature” designation signifies no added sugar (dosage), creating a wine that Rai contends is the highest expression of Cava.

It’s low in alcohol, and perfect for summertime gatherings on the patio. It’s also the ideal vehicle for a splash of fruit juice to add a bit of sweetness and lower the alcohol further, or a splash of liqueur for a rich apéritif.

Are we sampling wine in a gallery atmosphere, or viewing art in a wine shop atmosphere? However you see it, it should be part of your Saturday or Sunday afternoon plans.

EdFraga_FugitiveSpeculationCoverSpreadFinal-1 copy

“Art is the understanding of beauty through the senses, and in order to understand the dream of a Vinci, or the inner life of a Bach, one must, I repeat, be capable of adoring the scented and fugitive soul of a passionate wine.” – Marcel Rouff, La Vie et la Passion de Dodin-Bouffant (1924)

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Posted on 2015.07.08 in Saturday Sips Wines, Spain DO, Cava


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