Castillo Perelada’s Cava production winery and vineyards south of Barcelona
A little over two year’s ago, my Spec’s colleague Kerry Furman and I (along with Perelada’s US importer Eymeric Darsch) visited Perelada’s Cava winery and walked the process following a theoretical bottle of cave from grape reception through to the cased wine being loaded onto a pallet to ship. Maybe it’s because I am after all my father’s son but I am very interested in “process” (Dad’s a mechanical engineer and retired professor and dean). After we finished and understood the process, I got to thinking (always dangerous). I love the standard Perelada Cava Brut Reserva but I wondered what would happen if, instead of the standard 18 months on the lees (en tirage), the wine were given 24 or 27 months on the lees. So I asked if they could lose a couple of pallets in the cellar for those extra months and then run them through the disgorgement process and finish the wine just as if it were the regular cava. Spec’s is a big customer so they humored me. We had to come up with a new name (Perelada Reserva Especial) and a new label (pictured). I was hoping for something a bit richer and rounder with more of the flavor of an aged Champagne. They had never done this before so it was a bit of a roll of the dice but – since Grup Perelada also own a casino -maybe that’s appropriate. The wine is finally here and it is just what we hoped it would be.
CASTILLO PERELADA Reserva Especial Brut, Cava (Spain), NV ($9.99)
A blend of Macabeo, Xarel·lo and Parellada together with Chardonnay fermented using Methode Champenoise (same as the Perelada Cava Brut Reserva) but aged 27 months on the yeasts in the bottle and an extra three months after disgorging. Pale-gold-straw in color and fully sparkling; dry, medium-plus-bodied with still fresh acidity. Toastier with yeasty earth and real depth to go with citrus and tree fruit along with some earthy red fruit. The richness from the additional aging makes this a Cava for those who like Bollinger-style Champagnes. Richer, deeper, more satisfying. Delicious. Shocking for the price. BearScore: 91.