Gran Castillo Rocío Brut Cava, Catalonia NV

Pale gold color; bread yeast/buttered croissant, apple, citrus on the nose; green apple, melon, pear, citrus, lemon, honey on the palate.

Gran Castillo Rocío Brut Cava, Catalonia NV

Brut; vigorous bubbles. Very fruity. Made with 35% macabeu, 35% parelladam, 30% xarello grapes. Método tradicional (second fermentation in the bottle). Mild, well-balanced, creamy. While this qualifies as brut, there is a touch of sweetness from fruitiness and from slight dose of sugar in the final production. 11.5% ABV

Grapes harvested by hand in the early morning. Gentle pressing in oxygen-free environment. Cold settling for 24 hours, then racked off the gross lees and inoculated with neutral yeast to ferment in stainless steel tanks, preserving the freshness. Malolactic fermentation is impeded to preserve bright acidity. Second fermentation in bottle; aged on lees for nine months. This is standard formula for Spanish cava.

The wine is a label of Hammeken Cellars—makers of trendy wines like Radio Boka and El Gringo—but their website does not include this label. Hammeken is a privately-owned company that proclaims its mission if to make modern Spanish wines. They particularly focus on making labels for grocery store and other distribution with labels—and wine formulas—customized to client needs. This wine was produced for Hammeken Cellars, likely by a Spanish producer to get Hammeken distribution in the U.S.

This not to imply this is plonk. It is very credible, tasty Spanish cava at the expected superb price. Distribution likely is generous, so look for it in higher volume liquor/wine stores and supermarkets. It is not distinctive wine, but it is solid, drinker-friendly effort. Will pleasure a wide range of palates.

Gran Castillo Rocío Brut Cava NV is fresh and fruity with some complexity. As usual, there is great value in Spanish cava. It is made using same technique as Champagne—the bubbles are a result of a second fermentation in the bottle from which it will be poured. Works as aperitif. Pair with cured meat, appetizers and snacks, charcuterie board; tapas; shellfish, lean fish; seafood pasta; spicy food—Thai curry; salads, including fruit salads, summer salads; vegetarian fare. Cheese—sheep’s milk cheeses; aged, crumbly cheeses; manchego, aged parmesan, asiago; cheddar, gruyère, comté. $14-18

There is no Gran Castillo Rocío website or photos online.

Hammeken website