Deep copper color; cherry, raspberry, peach, red fruits, bread yeast on soft nose; apple, strawberry, raspberry, cherry, ruby red grapefruit, nectarine on the palate.
Brut; excellent crisp acidity with attractive creaminess. Persistent bubbles. Cleanly defined fruit elements bracketed by the ruby red grapefruit acidity. Blend of 85% garnacha, 15% pinot. Grapes fermented separately in stainless steel, then blended. Aged minimum of 15 months on the lees after second fermentation in the bottle. 12% 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 Vilarnau 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 major player in the wine industry).
A new winery was built and began making wine in 2005. The Luis González-designed winery is located in the center of the estate and features straight lines to allow to feature its stunning Mediterranean surroundings. The website notes: “Three main elements help the building integrate into this environment: water, which runs around the outside of the building and is in fact collected rainwater, the glass used for the windows and the oak used on the external walls. The interior has been designed largely by the eminent artist Antonio Miró, creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere.”
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). The fantastic church and its mosaics that inspired the label has been under construction since 1882 and it still is 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 140 years after it was conceived in Gaudi’s mind.
Vilarnau Rosé Delicat Brut Reserva NV is an elegant, balanced, red-fruit-driven delight, especially at this price point. Fresh, crisp, fun, fruity, bracing acidity. Impressive everyday sipper. Works as an aperitif; pair with tomato-based pasta; shellfish; lean fish; cured meats/charcuterie board; appetizers and snacks. Cheese—as a sparkling rosé, this will pair with almost any cheese; fresh cheese like burrata; salty cheese like feta or halloumi; aged chèvre like humbolt fog; Alpine cheese like summer-milk comté; goat gouda; aged sheep milk like ossau-iraty; creamy blue cheese like cambozola. $12-15