The Caves Naveran Brut Cava 2015 is an estate grown, vintage dated Bubbly, farmed organic, but not certified organic in vineyards around the town of Torrelavit in the Alt Penedes DO of Catalonia (near Barcelona) In northeast Spain. Cava is produced in the same way as Champagne, the Traditional Method, where the wine is fermented 2x, the first time in stainless steel tanks (more or less the same way as all wine) and then fermented a second time after the wine is bottled and a measured amount of sugar and yeast added. This Sparkling wine is then aged in the bottle (along with the dead, spent yeast) for 18 months. Where Cava differs from Champagne is with the grapes used, while the French Bubbly uses Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as the main grapes, Cava traditionally uses 3 local indigenous grapes. Here the blend is 50% Xarel-lo, 30% Macabeo, and 20% Parellada. Most Bubbly/Sparkling wine in this price range (Found is for $12.99 on sale) and more expensive Bubbles are non-vintage, meaning that several vintages of the Sparkling wine was blended together to achieve the house style. Bubbly that is vintage dated is only produced in exceptional years, therefore is more exclusive and usually more expensive, but not here. Fun fact: Caves Naveran sells 85% of its Cava to France and France knows a thing or two about Bubbly. This is a Brut Cava, meaning dry, not sweet and the alcohol content is a mild 11.5%.
The color is a mix of silver and gold with many fine, energetic bubbles. The nose is pretty and delicate, apple, citrus, bakery bread, pear, and lemon, very fresh and bright. This is a Cava with some weight behind it, very balanced with well-integrated acidity. It tastes of lemon with green apple, grapefruit (but not too tart), pear, and a nice dash of minerality. The mid-palate shows some yeasty bread (not too pronounced), lime, and a salty sensation. The acidity is really well-balanced, I find that some value-priced Cava’s have a bit too much acidity, but here it is on the money. The finish is tart and sleek and lasts and lasts.
The Caves Naveran Brut Cava 2015 is made to order for folks with Champagne tastes and not Champagne budgets. It checks all the Bubbly boxes except costs too much. It has balance, style, flavor, length, all the things a good bottle of Bubbles should have. I didn’t know Caves Naveran existed until I saw it on the store shelf today, but I will definitely remember it the next time I need classy Bubbles on a budget.