Right at this moment, some of Catalonia's best Cava brands are engaged in a struggle to produce top-quality, world-class Cavas worthy of comparison with the best French Champagnes. These, of course, are very good news for us, wine lovers.
Well, Castell Sant Antoni Torre de l'Homenatge 2003 is the latest contestant to enter the competition -and a very serious one for that matter.
This is a truly exceptional sparkling wine which is only produced in exceptional vintages. Last edition of it, incidentally, was the 1999 vintage.
As for this vintage, suffice it to say that 2003 was a very tough year in Penedès, with above-average temperatures and long periods of drought. At the end, however, the quality of the grapes was nothing less than exceptional.
This Cava is made from a blend of 50% Xarel·lo, 25% Macabeo and 25% Parellada coming from vines more than 50 years old located in the "El Sot" family estate, owned by the Castell Sant Antoni winery since 1963.
Harvested by hand and carefully selected, the grapes were meticulously vinified and bottled. Following the traditional method, the wine was then added sugar and selected yeasts in order to complete secondary fermentation. Finally, Castell de Sant Antoni Torre de l'Homenatge 2003 was aged for a minimum of 120 months prior to its commercial release.
Being an age-worthy product with a minimum life expectancy of 5 years, it is important to note that the best days of this Cava are yet to come.
Despite this fact, this sparkling wine already got a score of 92 Parker points.
Bright, clean, straw-yellow colour with golden tinges.
Marvelously complex. An enticing display of baked apples, pear compote, candied fruit, orange rind, dried apricot, toasted almonds and nut shell, combined with notions of withered flowers, toasted bread, herbal remembrances, a dash of Eastern spices and a dim mineral background.
Mouth-filling, and really intense, but also extraordinarily supple. The wine proudly shows a silky and smooth body sustained by a steely backbone of acidity. In the mouth, a mind-blowing parade of flavours that goes from the most luscious, fruity sensations to deep mineral undertones. Perfectly integrated bubbles and seemingly unending finish with prominent notes of fruits and flowers.
|Our personal opinion||
Castell Sant Antoni Torre de l'Homenatge 2003 is, to put it simply, a treasure island wine.
|Type of Sparkling Wine||Brut nature|
|Denomination of Origin (DO)||Cava|
|Bottle size||75 cl|
|Does this wine follow the guidelines of biodynamic Farming?||No|
|Is this product free of sulfites?||No|
|Number of months aged in the bottle||130|
|Name of Award||No|
|Percentage of variety||“Xarel·lo”:”50” “Macabeo”:”25” “Parellada”:”25”|
|Pairings||Baked whitefish, Cod, Curred fish, Light hors d´oeuvres, Poultry, Rice with fish, Risotto, Roasted fish, Roasted lamb, Roasted red meats, Roasted turkey, Roasted white meats, semi-curred cheese, Soft pasta cheese|
|Taste||Complex and Elegant, Fine bubbles and Fresh, Very intense and inky|
|Occasion||A special occasion, Dinner with friends, Romantic Dinner, To bring to an engagement|
Nobody talks about this cava, but to my mind it is up there with the best. Absolutely first-rate!!