Vilarnau Cava Brut Reserva, Barcelona, Trencadís Edition NV

Medium gold color; citrus, light flowers, herbs, earthiness on the nose; citrus, golden apple, apricot, peach, almond on the palate.

Vilarnau Cava Brut Reserva, Barcelona, Trencadís Edition NV

Brut; excellent mouthfeel; smooth, easy drinker. Superb acidity (3.05 pH); clean, no bitterness, no sharp edges. Fine and persistent bubbles. Crisp, refreshing from initial attack through the finish. Creamy mouthfeel intriguingly interacts with the crisp acidity that presents on the citrus attack and carries through to mid-palate where tree fruits show. Citrus, lemon return on the pleasing finish.

Blend of macadeo—a relatively neutral grape that is most planted white grape variety in northern Spain; xarel-lo—the major grape in northern Spain for sparkling wine, providing flavor, aromatics, and acidity; and parellada—the finest of the northern Spain cava grapes, also the lowest in production to add acidity and freshness. Macadeo, xarel-lo, and parellada are the classic grapes in sparkling wine from northern Spain. Celebrate the trio; 11.5% ABV.

Vilarnau is a relatively small, cutting-edge winey near Barcelona. It traces its roots to the 12th century. Vilarnau is a contraction of the Latin “Vila Arnau”—the Arnau family’s country house. The first cava labeled Valarnau was created in 1949 using grapes that had been grown on the estate and sold to others for centuries. In 1982, Vilarnau became part of the González Byass company (owners of more than 20 companies and a very major player in Spanish wine).

Vilarnau winery

A new winery was built and began production in 2005. Vilarnau celebrates a clear focus on sustainability: careful monitoring of energy consumption. Biomass waste is used for heating; water management—harvesting rainwater on the winery roof for its adjacent lake; waste reduction—composting, recycling, packaging; and sustainable viticulture—certified organic by the Catalan Council for Organic Agriculture. Vilarnau uses no herbicides in its vineyards.

The dramatic label on this bottle is based on a type of mosaic—trencadís—used in Catalan modernism, and closely associated with architect Antoni Gaudi (Sagrada Familia Catholic Church in Barcelona is his masterwork). This wine is part of Vilarnau’s Trencadís Edition series. The fantastic church and its mosaics that inspired the label has been under construction since 1882 and is still unfinished—cathedrals are supposed to take centuries to complete, and in some ways are never considered complete. Gaudi died in 1926. There is a link to the official church website below. Google the church name or Antoni Gaudi to see and learn more about this astonish piece of art and UNESCO World Heritage site that remains strikingly modern almost 150 years after it was conceived in Gaudi’s mind.

Vilarnau Cava Brut Reserva, Barcelona, Trencadís Edition NV is superb cava. If you can buy this—and cava is spectacularly affordable, do so. Crisp and refreshing, creamy, checks all the delicious boxes of Spanish cava, or any wine for that matter. Why would you not give this is try? Pairs with wide variety of foods including such exotics as asparagus; also deep-fried foods; seafood and shellfish; grilled vegetable dishes; garden, Cobb, and salmon Caesar salads; lighter meats—pork, lamb; goat cheeses. Wonderful as an aperitif, particularly when served from this dramatic bottle. $10-13

Vilarnau website

Sagrada Familia Catholic Church, Barcelona

Vilarnau winery water conservation
Vilarnau lake
Vilarnau drive entrance
Sagrada Familia Catholic Church