CANALS Y MUNNÉ ARE STILL SPARKLING!
There are couple of puns in the title and I’ve plagiarised my own work from a few years ago – but hey, I’ll make it easy for you. Complex wines are OK, in fact they are to be relished, but complexity in Cork Talk, when you are just settling down to a good read with a nice cup of coffee? Well, you can do without a puzzle, I guess!
Five generations ago the family Canals Munné (which remains in control to this day) planted their first vineyards in Can Canals – the vines took root, and so did the legend! They make excellent Cava – really top drawer; plus they also make very good still wines. Hence the play on words above. OK, furrowed brows now relaxed and ready to read on? Then I’ll begin!
One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that, in most cases, Spanish wineries are not slow to take up new ideas. There are exceptions, of course, but generally, whilst keeping in touch with tradition, they are also keen to move forward. The Spanish wine scene is thus refreshingly dynamic.
I’m writing this a few weeks before I make my biennial pilgrimage to Alimentaria, the huge wine and food fair in Barcelona, where I just know I will see changes from two years ago – in terms of emphasis, technology, wine-making innovation and, bottle and label design.
The latter, is particularly relevant here. My old friend Albert Carcereny from Bodegas Canals & Munné has kept me informed over the years of any news relating to the bodega and his recent communication about the label change caught my eye. It’s typical of this winery to keep on the move, eschewing the thought of resting on one’s capacious laurels.
Their design team has decided that the bodega needs a new image, label-wise, to keep them at the cutting edge of a very competitive market. And to prepare consumers, so there can be no doubt about whose wines they are buying, they thought it best to send the information to the press to help diffuse the news.
I hope the change didn’t cost them the vast amount of money that Gonzalez y Byass spent on their Tio Pepe Fino Sherry bottle change a few years ago – a staggering amount that will take years to recoup in sales terms! However, thinking about it now, I actually can’t remember what the old style Tio Pepe bottles looked like – so, in the long run I guess it was worth (will be?) worthy it!
The new labels on the Canals & Munné range are simple, minimalist, modern – and effective. They are now firmly implanted in my brain and I’ll look out for them, which is no doubt the desired effect!
But what of the wine? Well, I had no concerns there – I’ve never tasted a poor Canals & Munné wine, and I didn’t expect to here. I wasn’t disappointed.
It so happened that the lovely Claire and I were in a celebratory mood recently – I’m not sure why, perhaps because it was a Friday?! I opened my Cave Vinum and Canals & Munné’s Insuperable Brut Cava, almost leapt out! It was a clear sign!
Made with the traditional and classic Cava blend, Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada – this time, 40%, 30% and 30% respectively, there is an elegance about the wine too. It’s had 25 months en rima (resting upside-down on its lees) in the cellar, making it a Reserva (in fact it’s had 10 months longer than the minimum time in order for a cava to be proclaimed a Reserva) and this shows in its mouth-feel.
It retains that celebratory note that we all love in sparkling wines, but it’s not at all shallow, as are so many of the cheap cavas. It’s the extra time en rima that has achieved this, of course, but also the blend. Macabeo gives us that wonderful apple vibrant acidity that keeps cava fresh, but it’s the body of the Xarel.lo and the finesse of the Parellada that make a major contribution to this cava!
Please also note that the important date of disgorgement is also printed on the back label!
I once called Xarel.lo ‘the new Chardonnay’. It doesn’t have the same taste and aroma profile as the ubiquitous friend but it does have the same knack of being full in flavour and the ability to add significantly to blends as well as being content to be on its own. Plus it’s perfectly happy with oak, from largish doses to ‘ the semi-crianza roble’ style.
Gran Blanc Prínceps Xarel.lo FB 2015 has had just three months in barrel following its fermentation in same. At this moment, it is I believe, slightly unbalanced in that it hasn’t yet had time to settle into the super whole that it will no doubt become. I’ve tasted this wine before, but in different vintages and when it has had over 6 months in bottle. It’s one of those wines that defies the general rule that Spanish whites should be enjoyed when young.
I’m not sure of its price, but if you can – buy it now and wait until Christmas! Served with turkey, and chicken, it will, by then, be really good. It will also suit rice dishes, paella of course, but also risotto, and for these I thin k you’ll be able to enjoy the wine a little earlier – the start of summer and throughout Autumn too!
I have a glass of the Blanc Prínceps Blanc de Blanc Muscat right now! The raison and grape aromas are swirling around my laptop, making me stop writing and reach for the glass too often! It’s a lovely wine made from Moscatel, with floral notes on the nose as well as the fruit, which goes onto the palate and leaves a really lovely taste as you swallow.
It may shock, but try this wine with Indian cuisine – it’s a super match that we enjoyed last night!
So, that’s three from Canals Munné, and there are a whole lot more! Look for the new label and buy with confidence!
NB my next Fine Wine & Gourmet Dine Programme on Total FM 91:8 and www.totalfm.es is on Sunday 3rd April from 7pm – 8pm Spain time. I’ll be tasting 3(!) wines from Bodegas Castaño, DOP Yecla on-air and talking about the wines, pairing them with food, the Bodegas Castaño wine tourism etc. Comments and questions will be welcome firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 629 388 159!
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