The Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut is a non-vintage Cava sourced from contracted vineyards in the Alt Penedes sub-DO of the Penedes DO in Catalonia (near Barcelona), Spain. Penedes and Alt Penedes are well known for Cava production. The Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut is made with the traditional Cava White grapes, 50% Macabeo, 35% Parellada and 15% Xarel.lo. Brut indicates this is a dry wine, remember with Sparkling wine, dry or extra dry indicates the wine is on the sweet side, Brut means the wine is not sweet. Cava is made in the Traditional Method, the same process used for Champagne, where the wine is fermented twice. The first fermentation is the same as still wine (regular wines), after first fermentation is complete the wine is bottled and before they fasten a temporary cap, they add a measured amount of yeast and sugar. The second fermentation then occurs in each individual bottle. Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut is aged for 12 to 18 months in the bottle. The alcohol content is 11.5%. This wine, which you should be able to find for under $10, routinely wins awards from the major publications for Best Value Sparkling wines.
The color is pale golden yellow and there are tons of rather large bubbles. The nose shows some buttered bakery bread, tart apple, a little lemon and a light floral scent. This is a very delicate, well balanced bubbly. It tastes of a mix of grapefruit and pear, dried peach slices and lemon, green apple, a firm, nuanced slap of minerality and a little yeasty bread. The acidity can be a little strong on some value Bubbly’s but here, it is right in the pocket. This Cava evaporates upon hitting your taste buds, there is almost no need to swallow.
The Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut is a very solid Sparkling wine, it is not just solid for a Bubbly selling for $8.99, it can compete with Sparkling wines with price tags 2 or 3 times as large. The Public Relations machine for Champagne has dominated peoples perceptions to the point where winemakers have an extremely hard time getting folks to pay Champagne prices for non Champagne Sparkling wine. As a result, there are a whole slew of awesome Bubbly’s on the market that are selling for bargain prices (either that or Champagne is way over priced). The best quality segment of value wines are the Sparkling wines aka Bubbly and the Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut hits a home run in the quality to price ratio.