Spanish Cava: Cristalino from Jaume Serra

If you hadn’t noticed yet, Cristalino has changed its label. But it remains the super-value Cava it has always been. That’s what we said about it in Issue #14 The World of Sparkling Wines and Champagne. Obviously, lots of other people thought the same thing, and the sales of Cristalino have exploded in the US where it’s the #2 imported Cava.

Jaume Serra Guell founded his eponymous winery in 1943 in Garraf, near the Penedés in Catalonia. In 1997 it was bought by the Garcia-Carrion family and modernized, including introducing Champagne yeasts for fermentation. The website for the winery is at Jaume Serra Cristalino is imported by Colección Internacional del Vino (CIV) USA.

The new label is the cream-colored one shown above. The old label is the gold-labeled Cristalino shown below.

Jaume Serra 2007 Cristalino Brut Nature ($15) 90

The Brut Nature is the most complex of all the Cristalinos. Its bouquet reveals notes of almond, orange zest and honey, while the palate adds some light hazelnut and ripe pear notes. It’s a finely textured cava that’s slightly steely in the mouth and very dry. Delicious and a great value.. Made from Parellada, Mcabeo, Xarel-lo, and Chardonnay.

Jaume Serra NV Cristalino Cava Brut ($10) 88

This is a clean, fresh entry level sparkling wine showing aromas and flavors of orchard fruit and melon with notes of almond and yeasty dough. It has a nice crisp attack and a light, creamy palate that is unusually nice for sparkler in this price range. It’s a blend of 85% Macabeo, 35% Parellada and 15% Xarel-lo.

Jaume Serra NV Cristalino Cava Rosé Brut ($10) 88

The medium rose colored Rosé Brut reveals pomengranate, dried cranberry and red berries on the nose and palate. It finishes ripe and dry without the cloying sweetness often found in the sparkling rosés in this price range. Made from a blend of Pinot Noir and Trepat grapes.

Jaume Serra NV Opera Prima Spanish Muscat ($7) 87+

Solid yellow straw in color, this low alcohol (7%) sparkler has a nose of lychee with a ripe mango note. It’s lightly sweet with straightforward tropical fruit flavors finishing on a sweet note.

Jaume Serra NV Cristalino Cava Extra Dry ($10) 86

The Extra Dry Cristalino shows summer melon on the nose and exhibits a slightly off-dry, light palate of straightforward fruit flavors. Despite the modest residual sugar, it finishes on a crisp note.

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