2016 Bodegas Muga Conde de Haro Brut Reserva Cava

Year: 2016
Appellation: Cava
Country: Spain
Wine Spectator: 88
Wine Advocate: 90
Jeb Dunnuck: 92
Wine Enthusiast: 90
Sparkling Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.5%
Price :
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LAST CALL FOR THE 2016 VINTAGE!!...!! A great Spanish sparkler for a fraction of what you would pay for Champagne. Super Value!

"A well-balanced Cava, with a light, toasty overtone, a lacy bead and a fresh mix of Asian pear, slivered almond, fleur de sel and lemon pith flavors. Viura and Malvasia. Drink now. 3,000 cases made, 300 cases imported. -AN" (WS)

"The label of the sparkling white now says 2016 Conde de Haro Brut Reserva. It has always been single vintage and "reserva" because of the time on the lees, but they didn't put it on the label in the past. I am very pleased with the quality of this 2016. It refermented in the bottle and is a blend of mostly Viura and a little Chardonnay with some 22 months sur lie in bottle. It has complexity, finesse, some nutty aromas an leesy notes, and iit's especially clean and focused with a sharp and fresh palate. This wine has improved a lot in the last few years. 32,000 bottles produced. It was disgorged in early 2019.

Muga own close to 350 hectares of vineyards, as they think that even if you pay very high prices for grapes, you don't get the same quality as you get from your own vineyards. Some ten years ago, they had maybe 130 or 140 hectares of vineyards, and they are going to continue buying quality vineyards when they become available. So, they have increased their vineyards but production is stable.

2018 has been a variable vintage, with enough water and a tendency for high yields that they control, but they will probably produce Crianza/Reserva and perhaps Selección Especial, so no Torre Muga, Prado Enea or Aro. In 2017, they only produced their Crianza/Reserva. They are very happy with 2015 and 2016, even if they are different." (WA)

"The 2016 Conde de Haro Brut from the team at Muga is a relatively tiny production Cava that's made from 90% Viura and 10% Malvasia, all from high altitude vineyards, that was raised in oak vats. It has a great bouquet of sliced apple, white peach, and crushed rocks as well as a terrific core of sweet fruit, medium body, notable purity, and a clean, juicy finish. This is a beautiful Cava." (JD)

"A bready, yeasty nose is rich and moderately complex, while this Rioja Cava is bright on the palate, with firm malic acidity. Apple, white-bread toast and spice flavors breeze onto an in-shape finish that's crisp and tight at first, then more expansive and complex. Michael Schachner" (WE)

Winery Notes:
Tasting notes:
The first impression in the glass is of practically no oxidation, with bright yellow-green hues. The foam is dense and persistent, providing an inkling of its structure in the mouth. Looking at the centre of the glass we can see a uniform line of microscopic bubbles rising to the surface. The nose is dominated by tangy fruit and floral aromas. In the background we find fermentative notes from the wine's transformation in the bottle (honey, vanilla, liqueur). Honeyed yet fresh in the mouth, thanks to its significant acidity. The combination of fruit, acidity and fine lees results in a surprising sensation of fullness that invites one to continue tasting it. The fruity notes return in the aftertaste, with predominant spices that, for several seconds, leave a very pleasant memory.

The vineyards are located at a high altitude in the same area as the Prado Enea vineyards. However, the cava vineyards are located on slopes facing north, to protect the plants in the summer from excessive heat that could alter the delicate varietal aromas required by cavas. The grapes are harvested towards the third week in September; about fifteen days before those used to make white wines. Harvest is carried out in 15 kilo boxes to protect the berries’ integrity. After passing through the selector conveyor, the clusters are taken to the press. Pressing is the most delicate moment, as the quality must be maintained at all costs. Only the must drawn from the lightest pressing is used to make this cava.

The musts undergo their first fermentation in 1,000 litre wood vats, where the wine is left until the end of April. The second fermentation is induced in the bottle. The bottles are then kept in lattes for a further 14 months.

The cava is excellent for drinking straight away; in addition, the characteristics of the grapes provide it with great ageing potential. The grape varieties used are Viura (90%) and Malvasía (10%).