In many ways, Spanish cava has a unique character. While produced using the methode champenoise, it is usually made from indigenous varietals, instead of the usual Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier blend of Champagne and California. Thus, while it has some characteristics in common with Champagne, it also has its own unique character. We recently had the opportunity to taste some Reserve quality cavas from Canals & Munné.
In our Report # 14 The World of Sparkling Wines and Champagne, we tasted wines from a number of cavas and found some that were truly excellent. In our opinion, Canals & Munné belongs in that list of excellent cava producers. Located in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, it retains a distinct Catalunya character, but its wines are Champagne-like in their richness, mouthfeel and flavors.
At present Canals & Munné brings only the three sparklers listed here to the American market. In addition to these it makes some upscale sparklers with 4+ years of aging: the mainly Chardonnay-based Gran Duc and Reserva de L’Avi and the Pinot Noir-based Serralet del Guineu. Given the quality level of the Reservas that we tasted, we very much look forward to tasting the Gran Duc, Reserva de L’Avi, and Serralet del Guineu when they’re imported to the US.
These wines are remarkable values!
Canals & Munne Insuperable Semi-Seco Reserva ($15) 87+
This is a festive wine to accompany a fruit salad or vanilla buttercream birthday cake. Light stone fruit and herbs show on the nose, followed by an off-dry attack (31g/l sugar) of stone fruit with yeast notes. Made from a blend of Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada aged in bottle for 25 months. Enjoy.
Canals & Munne Insuperable Brut Reserva ($15) 90
The rich, mouth-filling Insuperable Brut Reserva is one of the better cavas we’ve tasted. A blend of 40% Macabeo, 30% Xarel-lo, and 30% Parellada, it has been on the lees for 25 months. It shows light honey biscuit aromas on the nose and offers a fine mousse and clean palate of brioche, citrus, and almond flavors. Great value!
Canals & Munne Rosé Semi-Reserva ($25) 88
This unusual medium-rose colored blend of 75% Monastrell and 25% Garnacha has a style all its own. It’s neither a subtly flavored Rosé Champagne nor a robustly flavored sparkling Shiraz but somewhere in-between. With fine petillant-like bubbles, strawberry, cherry, and plum aromas on the nose continue through to the palate with noticeable licorice notes. Finishes dry with distinct red fruit flavors. It’s a perfect match for an American Thanksgiving dinner.
Importer: Independence Imports, NJ