(2021) This lightly fortified sweet Muscat, much in the style of a Muscat de Beaumes de Venise for example, comes from the Torres family of Spain. It's a delightful wine, overflowing with aroma and flavour, the colour a burnished gold. On the nose, honeycomb, saffron and sweet confit fruit, florals and lemon all in the mix. Thick and unctuous on the palate, there is masses of honeyed flavour and intense golden sultana sweetness, but the alcohol and the acidity give a bit of backbone and welcome freshness. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2021) A classic, traditional method blend of Macabeu, Xarel·lo and Parellada, spending 40 months on the lees before disgorgement. Buyer Pierre Mansour says he's on a 'bit of a mission' to support Cava, given the market share and prominence it has lost, especially with the boom of Prosecco, and my goodness this is proof that he has a point: Brut Nature, so dry and without dosage, it has the honeyed, buttery and waxy note I often get from quality Cava made from the traditional varieties, a full, generous mousse, and a mouth-filling breadth of creamy and lightly biscuity character with excellent yellow plum and citrus fruit and acidity to finish. Very fine, very delicious.
(2020) I'm a fan of Torres' aromatic white version of the Viña Esmeralda and I have to say this wine put a broad smile on my face. Pretty and pale pink in colour, it is 100% Grenache from Torres' vineyards in the Penedès, and is fragrant with old roses, pomegranate and strawberry. On the palate some residual sugar makes it summery and very easy-going, the tang red fruit and citrus acidity balancing nicely, so that it finishes basically dry, and quite pure and long.
(2020) A touch of Chardonnay is blended with the typical grapes of Cava in this wine (Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada), part of Lidl's 'Wine Tour', May 2020. Made by the traditional method, the nose is very inviting with its custardy, creamy and waxy sense of richness, a little biscuit character too. In the mouth the mousse is generous and pillowing, with a crisp lemony fruit, that citrussy freshness clean into the relatively long finish. Really very good value.
(2019) This has got paler in colour over the years, and I see it is now labelled as zero alcohol, whereas previously it was barely alcoholic with 0.5% abv. Made from Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon it is a wine that goes through an alcohol removal process. Last time I tasted this I said it was "pleasantly fruity in a spritzer style, like a dash of soda has been added to a regular rosé," and that is still basically the gist of it: don't expect a vinous, dry wine - don't expect a wine at all really - but a fruity, soda-water alternative that's basically dry, with prickle of CO². Low in calories.
(2019) The always-reliable Torres produces this fragrant and fruity, dry rosé that's always an easy-quaffing delight. Made from Grenache, it is pale and fresh with a floral, blossom touch to confectionery and citrus fruitiness. In the mouth there is a hint of sweetness, but it is otherwise dry in the finish, balanced, with good zipping acidity against that lightly peachy and orchard fruit. What's not to like here?
(2018) One of my favourite of the Torres wines, from a single vineyard (actually a monopole Clos) dedicated to Chardonnay in Penedes. Twelve months in French oak 300-litre barrels (60% new) and a lovely lime jelly purity, gently buttery and waxy nose, very Meursault-like perhaps, a sheen of oatmeal and almond beneath. In the mouth real purity: lime again, but zesty and fresh, the buttery notes adding texture. Could certainly do with an ounce more zip and raciness to really shine, but a terrific attempt at top notch Chardonnay really.
(2018) I visited the delightful Juve family in Spain in 2017 and was really impressed by the whole range of wines, including the previous vintage of this bone-dry 'zero dosage' cava made from the three traditional cava varieties and aged 36 months. All of the Juve y Camps vineyards had been certified organic in 2015, but they'd refrained from mentioning that on the labels until the long ageing for this, their flagship product, had been completed and it could be the first of their range to bear the stamp of certification. It remains a delightful, very refined cava, packed with citrus peel and red apple aromas and just hints of a biscuity richness from that long lees ageing. The palate has a twist of bitter lemon too, in a very grown-up and savoury style, filling the mouth with its elegant mousse, but with a cystal-clear finish.
(2018) Roger Goulart is now part of CVNE, as the Rioja producer purchased them earlier this year. Given a full five years on the lees, this is a blend of the traditional cava grapes Xarel.lo, Macabeo and Parellada, and made very dry with only 4g/l of residual sugar. It pours a pale straw yellow with small bubbles, that dissipate quite quickly. The nose has a nice biscuity quality and a little fragrant herb touch, the palate has lemon and yellow plum flavours, and lemony acids. Somehow this wine just didn't catch my attention, lacking a little nerve and precision perhaps, but clearly a quality cava house to watch.
(2018) The 6.2g/l of residual sugar in this grenache pink from Torres does not make itslef felt as obvious sweetness. Relatively pale pecahy-pink, the nose is dry and Provençal in style, a little flowers or herbs and small red fruits, a touch of citrus. In the mouth good sweetness of fruit, but the acidity cleanses and persists, so the finish feels dry and moreish.