Wine Review: Mont Marcal Brut Reserve Cava

Mont Marcal is a name that has been popping up now and then on my “occasional” shopping sprees for wine. It has never really raised much interest due to the mainstream look and label (yes, I am also a sucker for good marketing) as well as I have not run into many reviews. While M was casually browsing through the Reykjavik airport tax free selection last Thursday, he spotted this Mont Marcal Brut Reserva for around 80 sek (9€) and we decided to give it a go. The bottle remained unopened until Saturday night, when we finally decided to pop it open as a pre-drink before heading for dinner.

Some cava after sightseeing is never a bad idea
Some cava after sightseeing is never a bad idea

Mont Marcal is a family owned company located in the heart of Penedes, Spain. The founder, Manuel Sancho, a former musician, has already retired and today the vineyard is run by his daughter, Blanca Sancho. The family owns 40 hectares on vineyards where they grow traditional cava varietals like Xarel.lo, Macabeu and Parellada as well as more internaional grapes like Tempranillo, Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Blancas philosophy is to combine tradition with “the restless spirit” of a new generation and she produces her wines under “Denominaciones de Origen” Penedès.

The Mont Marcal Brut Reserve is a blend of Xarel.lo, Macabeu and Chardonnay. It has been aged for minimum 15 months and has a small dosage of sugar (8g per liter). The cava is straw colored with lively, non-aggressive bubbles. The nose is yeasty with hints of apple and some banana (!!). The taste is of green apples, citrus and minerals; it is well balanced (for being a relatively cheap sparkling) however the taste falls a bit short. There is a light sweetness, but it is not disturbing (normally I would find a cava with 8g of sugar sweet for my taste). All in all it is a good basic cava, and due to it’s price, I could imagine serving it as an appetizer at parties or other high-volume events. Mont Marcal is not available in Sweden, but it can be found in the UK (and Iceland of course) for a very reasonable price.

For pure quality (comparing to all the wines I have tried in my life), I would rate this cava at 2.5. For value for money, however, it climbs up to 3.5. I will perhaps not be buying case-loads of this for my cellar, but it is a good, solid option at restaurants or when you just need to pick up a casual bottle to go.