June 6, 2012

Freixenet Wines With Food

By In Food and Wine, Wine Notes
Here’s another grape variety to tick off the list – Trepat; you’ll only find it growing in North-East Spain where its destiny is to end up in rosé wines. It’s generally dismissed as being of limited appeal and interest; yet if Freixenet are using it in their high end Elyssia Cava’s it has to have some redeeming qualities.

What these attractions are is a touch unclear. The spec sheet for the Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut where 15% Trepat is added to the Pinot, states that it provides “a clean, light, refreshing structure with great aromatic expression”. Which doesn’t really tell us much, which probably doesn’t matter in the least as combined with the Pinot and poured into the stylishly packaged bottle it produces one of my favourite rosé cavas.

Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut Cava [Adegga /Snooth] has the most attractive colour, raspberry tinged with a seafood pink. Flavour-wise under those bubbles is a wine full of gentle summer fruit flavours and a distinct raspberry aroma. Equally as good with food – try with Prawns with Romesco Sauce or simple slices of cured ham, as it is flying solo. An excellent example of matching Freixenet wines with food.

The white counterpart is the Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvee Brut [Adegga / Snooth], which takes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and adds two local Spanish varieties, Macabeo and Parellada to the fold. The acidity here seems a little crisper than the rosé. Pear and apple flavours, with some tropical edges make for a lovely, poised, wine. Tapas dishes again are called for – there are the Enoki Bundles sampled back in 2010 when the wine was first released but also try with deep fried calcots or broad beans and jamon. Deliciousness personified.

Pictured, on one of the serving spoons, is Catalan Spinach (spinach with pine nuts and raisins), sampled during a visit to Freixenet, another ‘to-die-for’ match with the Gran Cuvee.

Albarino, in the form of Freixenet’s Vionta, is a wine made for seafood and fish. Vionta Albarino, 2011, Rias Baixas [Adegga / Snooth] Light in body and alcohol there is a yeasty edge (from extended lees maceration for those with a technical urge to feed) but overall it’s a fine, bright, apple-led wine with a bitter twist on the finish, a typical characteristic of the Albarino grape. A little bottle age adds greater complexity. Food? Try with garlic prawns, scallops and other such fresh sea-food dishes.

Meat dishes, venison mains or lamb tapas for example, benefit with serving with a decent red. You can try the rose perhaps with a tapas-styled dish but over-all crack open a red. Take the delicious Valdubon Reserva, 2007, Ribera del Duero, [Adegga / Snooth]. This takes prime Tempranillo grapes (known in these ‘ere parts as Tinta del Pais) to produce a deeply hued wine, with complexity on the nose (given enough time to open-up, decanting recommended) and a mix of spice, deep black fruits, plums and just a smidge of mint to form a lovely, superbly structured wine. Excellent.


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1 Comment
  1. Denise Vanda June 9, 2012

    This was such a good article. Gave me ideas for menus and of course the wine
    to go with the meal. Planning a summer dinner party very soon cannot wait.
    Well done.


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