Cava: One Of The World’s Greatest Wine Values



A review of several of the Segura Viudas Cavas.


By Louis Marmon


Gazette Newspapers  February 24, 2011


Segura Viudas HeredadCava, the inexpensive Spanish sparkler, is flavorful, food-friendly and comes in a variety of styles. Every wine-lover should own several bottles since their low price makes them perfect for everyday consumption. And their high quality assures enjoyment during special occasions.


Segura Viudas is one of the finest cava producers in the Penedes region surrounding Barcelona. Production begins with still wines made from varietals such as Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada. These are blended to create a base wine that undergoes a traditional methode champenoise secondary fermentation within the individual bottles to produce the bubbles. Segura ages sparkling wines for more that the required nine months, which allows them to develop additional intricate flavors and structure. Like all cavas, they are best drunk within a few years of release.


Established in the mid-1950s, Segura Viudas is at the forefront of innovation while still adhering to the local winemaking traditions. The winery is currently owned by the Ferrer family who also own Freixenet, California’s Gloria Ferrer, and other wineries in Spain, France, Australia and Chile. Segura Viudas grapes come from their own vineyards or from local farmers who follow strict cultivating requirements. An example is a recent initiative to use time-consuming and labor-intensive hormonal traps to control insects rather than pesticides. The vineyards are scattered within the Penedes and are visited frequently throughout the year by staff to assure that the grapes reach their maximum potential and that the vines are not subjected to unwanted manipulation or chemicals.


This attention to detail is also seen in the ultra-modern winery. The region’s first mechanized bottling system includes a station where each individual bottle is computer scrutinized. If a flaw, such as an off-center label, is identified, the bottle is pulled and either repaired or discarded. Even the yeasts are specifically cultivated to assure that the wines maintain the house style. It is the resulting consistent high quality that makes Segura Viudas cavas such wonderful values.


It would be hard to find a better wine for the price than the Segura Viudas Brut Reserva NV ($7) that has almond and floral aromas with hints of bread that lead into a clean, flavorful lemon, apple, pear and honey flavors and refreshing citrus acidity with minerals in the finish.


The Segura Viudas Brut Rose NV ($8) has become my “house pour” as an aperitif or to pair with grilled fish or beef, pasta dishes and aged cheese. Salmon-colored with strawberry and cranberry aromas, it is made from 90 percent Trepat and 10 percent Grenacha which impart refreshingly bright red currant, cherry, raspberry and citrus flavors.


Known to some as the “Pewter” cava because of its characteristic bottle shape and raised faux-metal label, the Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad NV ($19) is made from only the first half of the juice pressed from the grapes selected for the blend. This captivating wine is very aromatic, with toasty, nutty, citrus notes that merge into a rich honey, dried peach and lemon frame accented with minerals and caramel.


The Aria wines showcase subtle elegance. Aria Estate Brut NV ($10) is delicate, yet deliciously complex, with melon, walnut and floral aromas that flow into buttery peach, lime, lemon and some minerals and honey. Equally delightful is the raspberry and licorice scented Aria Pinot Noir NV ($10), with lovely dark berry, watermelon and cherry flavors leading toward a slightly sweet, mineral-laced finish.



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