In Italy, Bubbly, be it Prosecco or Spumante, is usually produced using the Charmat Method. With the Charmat method (this is where the bubbles are introduced), the fermented wine is placed in huge pressurized vats, this is where the CO2 (bubbles) are added. The mass produced, inexpensive Spumante is aged in the vats for days before it is bottled and the more expensive Sparkling wines can be aged in the pressurized vats for weeks or months. These Sparkling wines tend to light and delicate.
In France, the usual method for producing Sparkling wine is the Champagne Method, as it is called in the Champagne region or the Traditional Method as it is called in all the other French Sparkling wine regions. With the Traditional method, the wine is fermented the first time in the same way still wine is fermented. The wine is then bottled and before it is temporarily capped, a mix of yeast and sugar is added to each and every bottle. So, the 2nd fermentation (where the bubbles are added) occurs inside each bottle. In Champagne the wine must aged this way for at least 18 months. These Sparkling wines tend to intense and yeasty.
In Spain, they use same Traditional Method that is used in France, but instead of French grape varieties, they use the indigenous Spanish grapes of Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel.lo. So Spanish Cava, while produced using the same methods as Champagne it will have a different flavor profile.
*Note: Some French and Spanish Bubbly is made using the Charmat Method and some Italian Bubbles are made with the Traditional Method.
Except with the Anna De Codorniu Rose’ Brut Cava is produced in the Traditional Method using 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay sourced from Codorniu Estate vineyards in the Penedes DO in Catalonia, Spain. So this is Spanish Bubbly made in the French style using French grapes grown in Spain. This bubbly was aged in the bottle for 12 months and has an alcohol content of 12%.
The color is apricot pink with tons of tight tiny bubbles. The nose is strawberry, crusty bread, cherry, lemon and a light floral scent. It tastes of cherries and strawberries with a soft mineral edge. It transitions to delicate lemon/lime and not too tart pink grapefruit on the mid palate. The finish is subtle but lengthy.
The Anna De Codorniu Rose’ Brut is a wonderfully subtle and tasty Bubbly. It does not have the intensity of Champagne, but it does have a nice refined balance, it tastes more expensive than it actually is. It should sell for between $10 and $15, but I found it on sale for $4.99. At $4.99, this is the greatest Bubbly in the world. But even at regular price, this is an extremely versatile Sparkling wine, it has enough flavor, acidity and body to handle brunch type food, along with seafood and Asian cuisine. And is classy and elegant enough for anniversary or wedding toasts and inexpensive enough for watching the sun go down on a Thursday evening.