D.O. Cava, Spain
Cava—the world’s easiest to drink sparkling wine—is well known for its value. This particular Cava is not just your garden variety bargain bubbly but a finely crafted, hand-made sparkler on par with prestige NV Champagne.
Winemaker Francisco Dominguez crafts every bottle of Cava at his El Xamfra cellars in the time-honored tradition of his ancestors and favors a dry style arrived at by use of a very low dosage compared to grocery-store Cava. Not quite as austere as a Brut Nature (or zero dosage), this creamy, tangy, subtly nutty bubbly bursts with apple and tropical fruits culminating in a vivid finish of citrus and mineral.
By law, Cava DO must be aged for 9 months. The Mercat, however, is aged twice that amount, which adds a degree of richness and body. Another factor setting this Cava apart from commercially produced versions: This blend of Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada is sourced from vines aged 15-40 years, all growing on the chalky soils of Cava’s seaside slopes. Enjoy with tapas!
Four reasons we love it:
Frequenters of Barcelona might recognize the namesake of this Cava—Barcelona’s famed Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria market, one of the most glorious and historic farmer’s markets (and more) on the planet.
Cava was born from an ambitious and noble plan—to adopt the winemaking techniques used in Champagne but with local grape varietals.
Situated in the sweet spot of Penedes, the El Xamfra winery is located in the village of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, Cava’s unofficial capital.
This dry but not al all austere sparkling wine is aged on its lees for a minimum of 18 months.
A delicate bead in the glass of soft golden color. The nose bursts with rich pear, green
apple and hints of cream. On the palate the wine shows great finesse and balance
with notes of papaya and pear rounded out with hints of hazelnuts, finishing with crisp
acidity and freshness.
Inspired by Barcelona’s Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria – the quintessentially Catalan market destination where locals (and tourists alike) gather to eat, shop and gossip. Mercat Cava aims to evoke the same spirit of community, liveliness, and tradition. The Cava is made using traditional methods in the cellars of El Xamfra, where Francisco Dominguez hand crafts every bottle with the utmost attention and care. The Mercat Cava spends a minimum of 18 months aging on its lees and is finished with a very low dosage, allowing the chalky soils on which the old indigenous vines are grown, to shine through on the palate.
Pair with fish and seafood, for example, shrimp scampi with zucchini and basil purée. We also enjoyed it with our favorite appetizers, like a cheese plate and bruschetta!