The 2018 Mont-Marçal Brut Reserva (90 Points – Wine & Spirits) is another tour de force from this recently certified organic producer. Unlike most sparkling wine producers, including the finest purveyors of Champagne and Cava, Mont-Marçal vintage dates all of its Brut Reserva so that the consumer knows the age and freshness of the wine. The 2018 Mont-Marçal Brut Reserva (30% Xarel-lo, 30% Macabeo, 30% Parellada, 10% Chardonnay) resonates with supreme elegance, flavor and texture, making it one of the world’s most consistently satisfying sparkling wines. Delicate pinpoint bubbles stream exuberantly to the top of the glass, offering seductive scents of spring flowers, apple, pain grillé and golden pears, all infused with a gentle minerality. In the mouth, light, clean, and clearly delineated fruit flavors glide easily across the tongue, while the wine’s creamy mousse and perfectly bright acidity carry the wine’s flavors and charm through to a satisfying mouth-refreshing finish. In a world in which authenticity is hard to come by, the 2018 Mont-Marçal Brut Reserva shines as a beacon. Indeed, there is truth in wine: Mont-Marçal’s Brut Reserva. Enjoy this delicious Cava well chilled (38°-40° F) and often. Anticipated maturity: 2021-2024.
As has always been the case with Mont-Marçal Cava, one needs nothing but a clean glass and a little time in order to enjoy this producer’s exuberant 2018 Brut Reserva. However, we must add that one of the most memorable meals we have ever eaten was in Spain, accompanied by Mont-Marçal Brut Reserva. The Mont-Marçal Brut Reserva served as the perfect foil to our seafood spread, which consisted of the very best calamari, octopus, and assorted seafood that any of us had ever eaten. Similarly, the 2018 Mont-Marçal Reserva Brut provides an exceptional companion to all kinds of fish, shellfish, and nearly anything that once swam in the sea, including poached sea bass, scallops wrapped in bacon, fried calamari, and tender octopus in a savory broth. Tapas, hors d’oeuvres, cheeses, poultry and lightly smoked meats make fine complements, too. Salmon mousse, sautéed oysters, stuffed mushrooms, prosciutto, Jamón Ibérico, and foie gras offer palate-pleasing accompaniments to Mont-Marçal’s 2018 Brut Reserva, too. Steamed crab legs and herb-roasted chicken or turkey served with a savory stuffing offer other tasty companions to Mont-Marçal’s elegant Cava. A plate of fresh fruit and soft, ripe, creamy cheeses also complement the fresh, highly delineated flavors of Mont-Marçal’s Reserva Cava. And like most Brut sparkling wines, including Champagne, Mont-Marçal’s 2018 Brut Reserva is at its very best early in the evening, either as an aperitif or with a first or main course of a meal. The dry, delicate flavors of Cava are best enjoyed before dessert and the onset of late evening palate fatigue. Enjoy!
Editor’s Note: Cava is a wine that is under pressure. It should always be well chilled before opening. Always exercise caution when opening a bottle of sparkling wine. Point the bottle away from people and objects. Use a clean towel or cloth to firmly grip the bottle. Gently remove the wire stopper while firmly holding the cork in place. Then with thumb and forefinger, remove the cork slowly from the bottle. Do not let the cork fly. Enjoy!
Nestled into the Mediterranean coastal range, about an hour’s drive south from Barcelona, is the Penedès wine region where for over a century Spain’s great wine culture has fostered talent in the art of elaborating Cava, Spain's most artisanal and labor intensive sparkling wine. Following a successful career in musical recordings, Manuel Sancho brought a fresh eye and classical vision towards producing a new benchmark in style for Cava from the heartland of Cataluña’s Cava production.
In 1975, Manuel Sancho purchased a neglected 18th century convent, originally a 15th century farmhouse set atop a prominent knoll overlooking the hamlet of Sant Marçal. Conversion of the property into a state-of-the-art winemaking facility has preserved the historic significance of the 15th century farmhouse, while medieval underground passageways in the chalk have carefully been preserved for maturing and storing Mont-Marçal’s Cava. From the hilltop’s vantage with 360º of exposure, the “Mont” provides a range of microclimates with ideal chalky soils for the maturation of Chardonnay as well as the estate’s indigenous Cava grape varietals: Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada. As a “grower producer” dedicated to intrinsic vineyard quality and careful handling of the grapes, both of which are paramount to quality winemaking, Mont-Marçal produces a naturally rich base wine with fresh, clean flavors in little need of dosage. Mont-Marçal is also now certified organic, a rarity among Champagne and sparkling wine producers.
Mont-Marçal Reserva Brut is a vintage wine that benefits from nearly 24 months aging in bottle prior to disgorgement and departure from the winery cellar. Disgorgement on order for localized shipments ensures the wine will be enjoyed at its optimal freshness while the extended maturation on the lees imbues delicate biscuit notes and terroir-focused pedigree, all wrapped in finely textured bubbles. At Mont-Marçal quality is indeed paramount.
On the world’s wide menu of fine wine the first course is most aptly set with bubbles, Cava bubbles. Commemorative, celebratory, spontaneous and infinitely versatile with or without food, to share a bottle of fine Cava is timeless. The exuberant character of fine sparkling wine epitomizes both class and charm, so let’s set aside the antiquated conceptions that a regional affiliation automatically equates to quality or the prejudiced value that price equals prestige. Yes, there is more to fine bubbly than Champagne. It’s Cava, made with the same painstaking traditional method as Champagne. In today’s advanced and competitive market, what matters is identifying producers who are attuned to what is actually in the bottle. Mont-Marçal has proven reliability as a key producer of the world’s most accessible, consistent, and satisfying sparkling wine – Cava.
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