Vilarnau is launching a cava with a unique history and method of production: Albert de Vilarnau Xarel.lo Castanyer, which is made from a grape variety indigenous to the Penedés that goes by the same name. The unique feature of this particular Gran Reserva Brut Nature lies in the fact that it is fermented and aged in barrels made from chestnut wood from trees that grow in the Motseny forests. The barrels are fashioned by hand by a local cooper. What this means is that Vilarnau is reviving the tradition of Catalonia’s “masías” (farmhouses) that once upon a time used to age white wine made from Xarel.lo grapes in barrels made from this type of wood.
Following years of research, Vilarnau’s team of winemakers, Damià Deàs and Eva Plazas, ran a number of trails to analyse how the Xarel.lo grape ages in chestnut wood barrels. The results were successful as it was observed that this type of wood preserves the variety’s characteristics and lends the wine a special bouquet.
In order to create a distinctive cava, 50% of the Xarel.lo grapes used to make Albert de Vilarnau Xarel.lo Castanyer were fermented in chestnut wood barrels for six months, whilst the other 50% fermented in stainless steel tanks.
The result is a Xarel.lo cava with a delightful, memorable personality that is the ideal companion for any meal based on white meat, poultry, fish in sauce and mushroom dishes. In terms of appearance, this cava displays a bright yellow hue with glimmers of gold, very fine bubbles and an exotic aroma with light notes reminiscent of camomile. It is very creamy and smooth on the palate and is undoubtedly a cava to be drunk more widely than just for toasting with.