Naveran Brut Nature
Naveran Brut Nature is an estate-bottled vintage Cava that sells for a song! Proprietor Michel Guilleron Parellada's goal with this Cava is to show the purity, youth and bright flavor characters of this special place. Xarello and Chardonnay contributes body, Macabeo gives aromatic intensity and Parellada lends acidity to the wine. The Naveran family legacy began in 1901. Today the Estate has 110 hectares (272 acres) of vines in the town of Torrelavit located in the Alt (high) Penedès subregion. Despite the fact that Cava is Spain's largest volume of wine exported to the U.S., Cavas are made utilizing the same methods used in Champagne and have remained Spain's best-kept secret for quality and value in wine. Caves Naveran is a premium Cava producer that uses estate-grown grapes. Naveran Brut Nature is a grower Cava that spends 18 months on its lees after fermentation in the bottle to achieve greater depth, complexity and the fine, delicate and long lasting bubbles, called mousse by the French, and are an indication of a sparking wine's quality.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? This wine is the least expensive vintage bubbly on the planet.
RATING HISTORY: 2014 90VM; 2012 90W&S; 2011 90RP
GRAPE: 40% Macabeo, 30% Parellada, 20% Chardonnay, 10% Xarello. Organically grown vines planted from 1970 to 1995. Tended in clay and limestone soil at 252 m (827 ft) elevation. This is a vegan wine.
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Cavas are very versatile as an aperitif before the meal, to accompany dessert afterwards and, of course, to enjoy during the meal. This Naveran Brut Nature will pair with soft cheeses, fresh fruit, white meats (pork and chicken) and even richly flavored red meats. This Cava is also great for sipping on its own.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: Each grape variety is harvested, crushed and fermented separately in stainless steel tanks at low temperature, with coupage in November, tirage and second fermentation in the bottle (typical of the traditional method for sparkling wine) for a minimum of two years. Then, disgorgement (deguelle) is followed by dosage. The wine is aged for 18 months on its lees.
PRODUCTION: 10,000 cases
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: The vineyards are located within the DO Penedès (Zone 5) in northeastern Spain, a few miles south of Barcelona in the Alt Penedès subregion, at an elevation of 252 meters (827 ft.). The soils are composed of limestone and sandy topsoil with clay subsoil. The texture of the topsoil allows for good drainage while the subsoil has good water retention. The medium levels of pH in the soil and low percentage of organic matter result in moderate yields and balanced acidity in the grapes. Regarding the area's climate, the average temperature from April to October is 66.3F and the annual rainfall is 23.9 inches. The days are hot with moderate night temperatures for this high Mediterranean region. The Naveran Estate's higher elevation allows the grapes to retain more natural acidity, which results in wines that are zesty, fresh and have expressive aromas.
TASTING NOTES: Pale green-tinged yellow. A suave, highly perfumed bouquet evokes fresh citrus and orchard fruits and pungent flowers, and a suave floral note builds in the glass. Silky and penetrating on the palate, offering intense Meyer lemon and green apple flavors that deepen on the back half. The floral quality repeats on a long, nervy finish that shows very good clarity and final bite. -- Josh Raynolds.
All photos: Friederike Paetzold