With snow piling up and temperatures hitting minus degrees in the Nordics, who wants to read about Thailand all the time? No one! Luckily I saved up a few juicy wine reviews for posting in between the sunny reads. Cellers Carol Valles is a producer we checked up on in Cavatast last October. They were recommended to us by some friends who live in Barcelona (and are serious about cava), and they did not disappoint. So we picked up a few bottles from the Cavatast store to enjoy home in Sweden at a later date. One of these bottles, Guillem Carol Millenium 2005 Gran Reserva Brut was opened with friends over Christmas holidays and rated by the Winecurious.
The cava is a mix of the familiar grape-trio: Xarello, Parellada and Macabeo plus Chardonnay. It is said to be aged minimum 60 months and the dosage (how much sugar is added) is 5g. I am a fan of zero-dosage wines as I feel sugar is often added to hide something in the taste. But hey, sometimes thats what is needed for perfecting the taste. So I will not be prejudice.
The look of the bottle was not something I would necessarily go for, if I would just look solely at the label. Perhaps the aim was to make it look classic or traditional, but to me it looks a bit cheap, it just does not scream quality. However, its what is inside that counts. The color of the wine is intense gold and the bubbles are very small. The wine has a scent of cinnamon, honey and apple, almost like an apple pie or cake. Mmmm! The taste is of yellow apples and cinnamon with some yeast and sherry. Sounds a bit weird for a cava, but it was not at all overly sweet. It was actually a perfect winter cava. Or I could just skip dessert some day and have this instead.
Quality-wise I would give this wine 3.5 points. It’s not for every occasion, but correctly matched it can be a wonderful companion for a dinner. Value for money takes the score a tiny notch down to 3 points. The price in Spain was around €16-18 at Cavatast. It isn’t very expensive, but not a real “bargain” either. I tasted a few other wines from Carol Valles and I actually thought they were much better (note that the tasting took place at Cavatast after several glasses of wine), or at least more my style. So I am intrigued to taste the other bottle we have waiting in the fridge and comparing it to this one. Anyhow, if you run across wines from this producer, give them a try. I doubt you will be disappointed.