Three really good sparkling wines this week
Chozas Carrascal Cava Brut Nature Reserva
Elegant, sophisticated cava with flavours of lemon, marzipan and honey and mouthwatering freshness. It’s a chardonnay/macabeo blend and has no dosage (ie no sugar added at the end): the depth and ‘sweetness’ come from the maturation – a small percentage in French oak and then into bottle for the second fermentation and 15 months on the lees. 12% abv. A much better bet than most cheap champagne.
£12.50, or £20 for two, Hanging Ditch
2005 Tesco Finest Alsace Crémant d’Alsace Riesling
Textbook riesling flavour, freshness and definition – ripe Granny Smith apples, lime and a hint of petrolly minerals, with fine, soft bubbles produced in the same way as for champagne. Dry, but not remotely austere; a crowd-pleaser in fact. Good as an aperitif, but also a winner with lightly spicy dishes. 11.5% abv.
Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvée Brut Cava
Chardonnay-based, matured for 15 months and a big step up in quality from Freixenet’s mass-market, black-bottled Cordon Negro. Pale and refined with fine bubbles, zesty lemon and peach fruit and a delicate nutty-straw note. 11.5% abv.