The Brut Nature Cavas of Mestres

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The family owned (since the 1600’s!) Heretat Mestres is one of Spain’s premiere Cava producers. It makes refined sparkling wines from the traditional grapes of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia in the Penedès (see map below), giving them extended aging on the lees in bottle. Mestres is a producer-grower (récoltant-manipulant), sourcing fruit only from its own vineyards. Almost all their Cavas are brut nature with zero dosage and have autolytic notes and brisk acidity. Our reviews of these excellent wines are given below. We also encourage readers to read our other publications on Cava, including Report #42 The Wines of Catalonia.

The Caves at Mestres

The Caves at Mestres

The Mestres family has been in the wine business since 1312 and has owned vineyards in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia since at least 1607. However, it wasn’t until 1925 that Josep Mestres Manobens made his first sparkling wine with the traditional grapes Macabeu, Xarel-lo, and Parellada. Today Joan Aura is the lead winemaker and the 28th generation of the family to farm the 74 acre estate, which is divided into two plots: Clos Damiana and Clos Nostre Senyor. The estate is at 690’ above sea level with calcareous clay soils.

Mestres makes Cava by its own recipe—using only juice from the first pressing, aging base wines on the lees in oak barrels, using natural cork closures for the second fermentation, giving wines extended time (18 months to 7 years) on the lees in bottle, in addition to harvesting fruit from low-yielding old vines.

Macabeu Vine in the Mestres Vineyard

Macabeu Vine in the Mestres Vineyard

Mestres’ Cava blends have a high percentage of the Xarello grape, which most producers regard  as the single best grape as it is flavorful with a perfumed bouquet and has the high acidity and freshness (when picked early) required of Cava. The blends also include Macabeu (shown here), which is high yielding and contributes a delicate note of orchard fruit along with high acidity. Parellada contributes body and soft, floral aromas and also has good acidity. Another indigenous grape, Trepat, is used only for Mestres’ Cupage Rosé; it’s especially fruity with good acidity.

The US importer is Think Global Wines.

Heretat Mestres NV 1312 Reserva Brut Cava ($20) 89 The NV 1312 is a delicate, tasty entry-level Cava with a scent of bread dough. It shows a fine mousse and a pleasant, lightly flavored palate.  An excellent aperitif wine. A blend of 30% Macabeo, 30% Xarel-lo, and 40% Parellada; 18+ months on the lees in bottle. RS< 6 g/L

Heretat Mestres 2012 Coquet Brut Nature Gran Reserva Cava ($31) 91 The Coquet shows a fine bouquet of toasty lees and biscuit. It’s a finely crafted wine with a focused palate of very fine bubbles and a precise, mineral-infused mouth feel. Finishes clean and bright with lingering nuances of brioche and baked pear tart. A blend of 30% Macabeo, 40% Xarel-lo, and 30% Parellada aged over 40 months on the lees in bottle. RS <1.5 g/L

Heretat Mestres Cupage Rosé Reserva Especial ($31) 89 Light red. Showing aromas of cranberry and red cherry, this is a wine-like rosé in flavor and weight. It’s dry and serious on the palate with persistent red fruit flavors. This sparkling rosé would pair beautifully with game birds and white meats. Its weight and extract make it a wine best suited for serving with meals. A blend of 50% Trepat, 30% Monastrell and 20% Pinot Noir. Handpicked from 20+ year old vines with 24+ months en tirage. RS 5-6 g/L

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Heretat Mestres 2006 Clos Nostre Senyor Brut Nature Gran Reserva Premium Cava ($44) 92 The single vineyard Clos Nostre Senyor is Mestres’ luxury cuvée with more than 7 years on the lees in bottle. It’s a boldly flavored, impeccably made wine with a graceful mousse, excellent depth and a full mouth feel. It shows poached pear, toasted grain, and rich brioche notes with a long, lingering aftertaste. This is Cava at its very best! Although it has less than 3 g/L residual sugar, it is perfectly balanced. Made from 50+ year old vines of Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada in the Clos Nostre Senyor vineyard. The base wine was matured in oak barriques for 10 months. Disgorged July 2015.

Heretat Mestres 2010 Visol Gran Reserva Brut Nature Cava ($41) 91 Yellow straw. Showing an attractive nose that’s pure with mineral and light brioche notes, the zero dosage Visol is broad in the mouth and richly flavored. It’s a beautifully harmonious wine with seamlessly integrated hazelnut and fruit flavors and an extracted, long finish. The base wines (35% Macabeu, 40% Xarel-lo, 25% Parellada) were fermented and matured in chestnut barrels for six months, followed by 50+ months on the lees in bottle; made from 50+ year old bush vines. Disgorged June 2015. RS < 3g/L First made in 1945 by Josep Mestres, this is the first brut nature Cava to be made in Spain.

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