Alta Alella – Mirgin Opus Evolutium 2013
At the age of 19 I was in awe when staring at a pair of bright yellow soccer cleats in a shop until I realized that I would need skills on the field far beyond my current, “Um, why don’t you just play defense” in order to pull off such a flashy set of kicks. And one needs to take this in to account when looking at the Cava bottles of Alta Alella with their very signature, long, fluted shape. If you’re going to try and pull that off, does the bubbly inside warrant it? In brief, yes.
Earlier this year, Alta Alella decided to sell off the “Privat” label to Castell de Perelada in DO Empordà. If you’re wondering how a cellar from DO Empordà is making Cava from wines produced by a cellar in DO Alella which are both nowhere near Penedès (which forms the heart of Cava production), on the other side of Barcelona well my friend, welcome to the vagaries of DO Cava.
So now with Alta Alella, there is just organic “Mirgin”, a Cava I’ve tasted on several occasions and been readily impressed with. What they’ve done here with this Gran Reserva, the Opus Evolutium is something exceedingly special however. It’s an ethereal, beautifully-balanced wine that sings the praises of not only the cellar but also their little piece of land where they grow their grapes on the coast just north of Barcelona. Probably the most shocking aspect to me is the fact that while it is based on Xarel·lo, it makes ready use of Chardonnay as well which is amazing given how little I generally like Chardonnay south of the Pyrenees.
Some may balk at the price of 25€ but as I often tell people, I simply don’t buy Cava for less than 15€ these days as once crossing that threshold, the quality jumps in massive degrees and this wine is simply worth every cent. I dare anyone to find a Champagne at this price that’s anywhere near the quality and I’m damned sure one that’s vintage, like this is would be at least three times the price.
Mirgin Opus Evolutium 2013
Light chalky, sage, wild herbs, gentle lemon citric notes, apple blossom, and a little almond nuttiness. Light and very balanced on the palate. Excellent acidity and weight with a lengthy autolytic aspect in the finish. Fine bottle that’s very well priced for the extremely high level of quality.
Xarel·lo, Chardonnay 12% 25€