Wine Review: Conde de Caralt Brut and Rosado

The exploration of wines we would never have tried if we were at home has continued in Singapore. We found ourselves at Robertson Quay and thought that we would have some luck finding good wine (and we did, review of wine bar Verre to come) as there was a Wine Connection bar and store there. Unfortunately their selection continues to disappoint, especially from a value for money perspective so we ended up going to a very touristy tapas bar around the corner from Wine Connection. The food was utterly disappointing but the cava was a surprisingly decent for the price. They were charging 7 SGD (so roughly €5) a glass both for the rosé cava and the regular brut.

The cava was Conde de Caralt Brut and Conde de Caralt Rosado. I had never heard of either before so really had no expectations. The cava house at one time used to be independent but is nowadays part of the behemoth producer Freixenet. Before that it was founded in 1964 by José Maria de Caralt. I am normally expecting poor quality and value for money from the major producers so I was glad I did not know who owned it before I tried the cava as it may perhaps have clouded my judgment.
The Brut had a light golden color and an abundance of bubbles, a bit “too sparkling” for my taste but the bubbles are small and pleasant. The nose of the cava is very discreet but there are hints of lemon, mild peach, apples and grass. The cava is very easy to drink and refreshing. It has a pleasant mouthfeel with notes of fresh lemon, crisp green apples mixed with a hint of acidity and a finish of some light sweetness. Not a complex cava but enjoyable enough when it is over 30 (C) and humid and at this price it is actually unbelievable value for money. In Singapore one normally pays at least 10 SGD plus VAT and service charge (and most of the time a lot more) for the simplest Prosecco (and more for cava or any other sparkling wine). While I would not actively search this out I would feel fine ordering it again. It is available for around €6-8 per bottle in many countries (in Spain as low as around €4) and for that it deserves a 4 in value for money rating. Quality is deserving of 2.5.

The Rosado was a bit more red than I would have expected, looking strawberry like in color. The nose was full of berries and fruit. Clear notes of both strawberries and raspberries as well as cherry. The flavor is not as berrylike as the nose would lead one to believe but it has a pleasant mix of berry flavors, both strawberry and raspberry, and a light touch of cherry. Despite being cheap it avoids the cheap taste that some rosé and sparking rosés can have. Mainly due to the lack of sweetness and alcohol in the flavor so not at all a bad wine at this price. Quality wise I would rate it as a 2 but I have seen it under €3 a bottle in Spain (and around €5-7 in other European countries) and that is just an amazing price so value for money is 4.

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