Cava is the sparkling wine most associated with Spain, but it is not the only one made there. This Spanish sparkler, Viña Esmeralda, is made with Moscatel grapes (also called Muscat and Moscato). This prohibits it from being called Cava, which is typically made from Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parelleda grapes (among the 9 grapes permitted in the variety). Note also that Viña Esmeralda is a brut, so it is unlikely to have the sweetness one typically expects to find in the popular Moscato d’Asti from Italy. Let’s give it a try.
Viña Esmeralda pours straw yellow in the glass and reveals a steady stream of tiny bubbles. The nose is very fruity with lovely notes of ripe peach appearing first, followed by some apple and a little lemon. The palate unfortunately doesn’t live up to the expectations set by the nose. Here, apple comes first, followed by some peach, but the flavors are somewhat muted. Also, the finish is disappointingly short. The wine has medium acidity, which helps it pair with food, but I hoped for more from this wine, particularly when it showed such promise on the nose.
B / $18 / empsonusa.com