Summer is quickly descending up on us and our mindsets are shifting to crisp whites, rosés and sparklers. There is one sparkling wine in particular that I knew I most definitely had to share with my faithful followers… Bohigas’s Brut Reserva Cava. Not only is the wine gorgeous, but the father daughter team that make the wine, Jordi and Maria, are simply wonderful people who are so humble and take so much pride in what they do. It’s family run wineries like Bohigas that deserve our attention.
The Bohigas family has been making wine from their estates in Catalunya (about 45 miles west of Barcelona) since 1290… Yes, you read that right, 1290! They have 150 hectares under vine, on which they grow a number of indigenous red and white varietals, including Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada, which are used to make their Cavas.
Their Brut Reserva is relatively small production, with only 6,000 cases made per year. Harvest of the grapes is done in the evening to take advantage of the cool temperatures. The first fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats. The wine is then bottled along with yeast and some added sugar (called dosage, a practice typical in making sparkling wines) for the second fermentation which takes place in the bottle in their underground cellar, where the wine stays for 24 months before riddling and disgorgement.
In the glass you’ll find a pale straw color with subtle green and golden hues, almost like seeing a mellow late afternoon summer sun reflect off of the leaves while you stroll through the woods hand-in-hand with a loved one… Whoa, that got deep, but those are the type of warm and joyous feelings this wine gives me. Maybe it doesn’t help that I’m partaking while I’m writing! The bouquet is slightly subdued, with subtle hints of lemon and lime zest, crushed flower and yeast. On the palate you’ll find a surprisingly dense wine with substantial effervescence. Notes of green apple, peach skin and sourdough play on the tongue with tight bubbles, framed by moderate acidity and subtle minerality. With only 6-8 grams of dosage this is certainly a drier interpretation of Brut Cava, when most producers are using the full 13 grams allowable by the D.O. Personally I find this style far preferable, making the wine much more food friendly.
As far as pairings go this wine is perfect as an aperitif, or served with shellfish, white fish, salad and firm cheeses.
Availability in the United States is limited at this time, which is not surprising considering Bohigas only came across the pond two years ago. As of now they have distribution in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Washington DC. Have no fear if you live outside of those markets, however, as there are a number of retailers online that are offering the wine with a typical retail price of $13-16. All you need is a credit card and shipping address.
Now let’s talk scores… Normally I find Cavas quite unappealing. They tend to be on the slightly sweet side with minimal, if any, complexity. Bohigas certainly does not fit that bill and is easily the best Cava I’ve ever had. For their Brut Reserva Cava I give them a 91.
If you’re looking for sweet or something a bit more fruit driven, you can have a ton of fun with this wine in cocktails. It’s delicious mixed with pear or green apple flavored vodka and simple syrup… Oh, and drop a sugar cube in there and see what happens, it’s pretty cool. Or my personal favorite, four ounces of Cava mixed with freshly sliced peaches and two teaspoons of simple syrup… it’s dangerously good, especially poolside!
On a personal note, I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with Jordi and Maria at their estate, even sitting down to dinner with them. As I stated above, they are truly wonderful people, and they deserve our support. It’s the small family owned wineries that we need to open our wallets for, not mass produced juice made by corporations.
So there you have it, my newest wine article. Hopefully you enjoyed the read, and hopefully you will purchase the wine! As always, new content is coming soon. In the meantime crack open a bottle of a small production sparkler, sit back, and relax. Life is short, enjoy it.