Barcelona is the home of cava, Spain’s native sparkling wine. It’s a category on the rise, thanks to its fruit-forward profile and approachable pricing, designed for those who might otherwise consider Prosecco but want something a little more lively.
Vilarnau is a small, artisanal, hand crafted cava house from outside of Barcelona, dating back to 1949. The winery is named for the Arnau family’s castle that stood on the banks of the Anoia River and where the vineyards can be found today – evoking a magical, beautiful scene right out of a fairy tale.
Giving a nod to its Catalan roots, Vilarnau wraps the Brut Reserva and Rose Brut Reserva bottles to reflect the avant-garde imagery of Antoni Gaudí, with vibrant, colorful designs that make the bottle look like it costs so much more than it is. Being close to Barcelona, Vilarnau truly shares its innovative, creative and dynamic character with this city.
Thoughts on Vilarnau’s brut and rose brut cava follow.
NV Vilarnau Cava Brut Reserva – Extremely fruity, this cava doesn’t just exude the usual flavors of apples and citrus, it folds in some mango notes and a crunchy spray of fresh lemongrass, giving it a slightly herbal kick on the finish. Though brisk and fresh (and, critically, quite affordable), it’s got a surprising complexity that merits continued exploration. A- / $15
NV Vilarnau Cava Rose Brut Reserva – Lightly fruity with notes of red berries atop a citrus core. The body runs more toward lime zest, crisp with acidity, with a more readily apparent brioche element as the finish emerges. Slightly sweet on the back end, it’s just as refreshing as the standard brut. B+ / $16