Wine Enthusiast 87 points - A little maderized and heavy at first, with soda and vanilla on the nose. The palate is reserved, not aggressive, with dried papaya, grapefruit and soda-like flavors. Finishes almost tropical in flavors, with balancing bitter pith. Good but shy Cava made from 25% Chardonnay and the usual grapes.
Vinous 88 points - (30% xarel-lo, 25% each of parellada and chardonnay and 20% macabeu): Pale gold. Spicy pear and peach skin aromas are complicated by white pepper and beeswax. Fleshy, smooth and refreshingly bitter, offering lively orchard fruit flavors and good back-end lift. This vivacious wine closes on a nervy, spicy note, with good length.
-- Josh Raynolds (Nov 2011)
Wine & Spirits 87 points - Cranberry and red apple skin scents fill this round and supple wine, before it shrinks back into the finish. It’s clean, short and peppery in the end. Some jamon Iberico might bring out the fruit.
The Non-Vintage Brut Reserva uses 25% Chardonnay in the blend along with the traditional varieties and spent 15 months on lees. It displays an expressive nose of mineral, brioche, and flowers leading to a wine with good volume, savory flavors, and moderate length. Drink both of these Cavas over the next 12-18 months.
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Wine maker notes
This vintage-dated sparkling wine is produced from 100% estate-grown fruit cultivated from 3 parcels using the traditional Champenoise method. A balanced bubbly with elegant buttery, toasty, and yeasty aromas that remind of a bakery. Fresh acidity and great body on the palate, with fine, persistent bubbles carrying through the long, lingering finish. Best when young, enjoy as an aperitif or with any number of seafood dishes. Albet i Noya Brut Natural Reserva is certified organic.
Of the 145 hectares they control, 80.5 are given over exclusively to the cultivation of vines. The estate vines cover the western slopes of the Ordal mountain range known as "Costers d'Ordal", following the curves of the terrain in stepped terraces or on slopes exposed to the midday sun. As in all good wine-growing land, the soil in Can Vendrell has low organic content, with a variable content of clay and sand on a bed of calcareous stone, a permeable base with good moisture retention.
Leaving aside for a moment the suitability of the land for wine growing, there are other factors which intervene in the selection of the most suitable vines for cultivation, such as the lie of the land, the hours of sun, the humidity and altitude of the terrain.
The white varieties are Chardonnay (1.1ha) Macabeu (9.7ha), Xarel·lo (19.1ha), Parellada (10.5ha), Moscatell (0.4ha), Viogner (1.5ha), Sauvignon Blanc (0.3ha), Riesling (1.5ha), Garnatxa Blanca (0.2ha) and 4 experimental varieties (0.8ha).
The red varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon (10ha), Tempranillo o Ull de llebre (8.3ha), Merlot (5.4ha), Syrah (6ha), Garnatxa negre (2.2ha), Pinot Noir (2.9ha), and 6 experimental varieties (0.8ha)
Whilst the Xarel·lo, Macabeu and Parellada are the varieties traditionally planted in the Penedès region, the others had been lost at the end of the 19th century with the Philloxera crisis and the growth of cava, until their reintroduction to Can Vendrell by the Albet family in the early eighties.
The Can Vendrell modernist cellar was built in 1925 and houses the principal vinification processes. The Xapallà cellar next door was finished in August 2004 and houses the temperature-controlled warehouse, the barrel hall and a new bottling plant. The new gravity-based l'Era cellar was opened in 2010 to produce our top wines separately.
Organic wine is largely wine from organically grown grapes, but the regulations primarily limit the quantity of sulphur dioxide that can be used, approximately half the levels permitted in a conventional cellar. This means that the Can Vendrell cellar is required to maintain a level of hygiene far superior to that of a conventional cellar. Nonetheless, once more we can see that the key to making great wines lies in the quality of the raw materials: the grapes.
By working only with grapes in optimum sanitary coonditions, Albet i Noya are able to work largely without using SO2. We use authoctonous yeasts from the Albet i Noya vineyards, selected from the Xarel·lo variety and we are working in the selection of other yeasts for the remaining varieties.
The fermenting vats have an inert gas system (a mix of nitrogen and CO2) to prevent potential alterations in the wine. Once again, the emphasis is on prevention rather than cure: as the wine cannot be chemically corrected, the hygiene of the cellar is key to avoiding disappointments. The cellar equipment is cleaned using high pressure hot water (up to 90°C) instead of chemical products.