The Segura Viudas Brut Cava is a blend of 50% Macabeo, 35% Parellada, and 15% Xarello (these are the grapes traditionally used in making Cava) sourced from vineyards in the Penedes district of the Catalonia region of Spain (near Barcelona). There has been an estate on the Segura Viudas property since the 1000s and grapes have been grown there since the 1200s, but the Segura Viudas winery we know today was founded in the 1850s. This is a Brut Cava which indicates it is dry or not sweet, the odd thing about Sparkling wine is Extra Dry means the wine is slightly sweet, the terms can be confusing. Cava is produced with the Traditional Method, also known as the Champagne Method. Here the wine is fermented twice, the first time the wine is fermented just like any other wine, except the grapes are picked before they are fully ripe. The fermentation process adds sugar to the wine and since the juice is fermented twice, they have to ensure the wine isn’t too sweet. After the first fermentation, the wine is bottled, then a measured amount of yeast and sugar is added to each and every bottle and the 2nd fermentation takes place inside the bottle. The dead yeast is left in the bottle (known as “on lees“) to age, with the Segura Viudas Brut the aging process takes 15 months. They freeze the neck of each bottle to solidify the dead yeast to make it easier to remove, top the bottles off, then add the cork and cage. The alcohol content is 11%.
*** In a side note, Sparkling wines such as Prosecco or Spumante are made with the Charmat Method. Again the wine is fermented twice, but here the 2nd fermentation occurs when the wine is pumped into large pressurized vats. Sugar and yeast is added to the vats and this fermentation lasts from a week or two for inexpensive Spumante to several months for higher-end Prosecco. The Charmat Method produces lighter, more delicate Sparkling wine, while the Traditional/Champagne Method makes more intense, yeasty Sparkling wine.
The color is pale golden yellow, with a flurry of tiny energetic bubbles. The nose is lemon, pear, apple, lime, unsweetened pineapple and spring flowers. This is a crisp Bubbly, with balanced acidity and lightly fruity flavors. It tastes of ripe apple, lemon, a hint of bakery bread and a touch of cashew. The mid-palate shows lime and a little grapefruit. The acidity gives this Bubbly a refreshing lift on the mid-palate. The crisp nature and the acidity allow the finish to linger for quite some time.
The Segura Viudas Brut Cava is a remarkable $10 bottle of wine (probably on sale for under ten during the Holidays). Cava may well be the best wine you can buy for $10 and under. Normally, a good ten buck wine is a solid example of the grape varietal, like a $10 Sauvignon Blanc. With a Cava such as the Segura Viudas Brut you get a well made, delicious, versatile Bubbly. You can purchase 3 or 4 bottles of Segura Viudas Brut for the price of a typical entry level Champagne and entry level Champagne is nowhere near good enough to make up the price disparity. Wonderful Bubbles at everyday wine prices is a beautiful thing.