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The Spectacular Spanish Sparkling Wines of Can Mayol - 12/26/2017 - Spain

Over the years, the family run Spanish winery of Can Mayol has been building an impressive reputation with their Loxarel label. Crafting sparkling wines that have drawn comparisons to such coveted Champagne producers as Jacques Selosse, the singular commitment to quality in these wines is incontestable. While the irresistible nature of these bubblies is the central story here, we’d be remiss not to point out the remarkable level of fastidiousness winemaker Josep Mitjans employs. From biodynamic practices to amphorae for aging and everything in between, no stone is left unturned in coaxing out the very best in his wines. Thanks to Mitjans’ innovative spirit and hard work, all the wines in his impressive (and wide ranging) portfolio show excellent verve and layered-complexity. These are profound efforts that far outperform their modest prices. Remarkably, for as richly layered as these wines are, they remain infinitely approachable. So whether you are looking for a bubbly to sip on its own or to pair with a special meal, the sparklers from Loxarel will fit the bill.

Vintage Item Name Score Qty Retail Link
2014 Can Mayol Loxarel "999" Brut Nature Rosat Penedes >60 $13.99 View
2013 Can Mayol Loxarel Garnatxa Blanca Brut Nature Penedes 90 >100 $14.99 View
2013 Can Mayol Loxarel "Refugi" Reserva Brut Nature Penedes 92 >60 $17.99 View
2016 Can Mayol Loxarel "Apel" Ancestral Penedes >100 $18.99 View
2011 Can Mayol Loxarel "Reserva Familiar" Brut Nature Penedes >60 $19.99 View
2011 Can Mayol Loxarel "MM" Gran Reserva Brut Nature Penedes 91 >48 $24.99 View
2005 Can Mayol Loxarel "109 Mesos" Gran Reserva Brut Penedes 93 33 $79.99 View


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2014 Can Mayol Loxarel "999" Brut Nature Rosat Penedes ($13.99)

Can Mayol is one of our favorite Spanish direct import properties. Working organically, and employing biodynamic treatments on their property, they produce sparkling Penedes wines of real expression and stunning purity. The 999 is a blend of Pinot Noir and Xarel-lo Vermell (rare red skinned mutation of Xarel-lo), full of crisp, tangy red fruit flavors, and without a hint of sugar (dosage) added. If you like your bubbly dry, this is one to try! Very interesting, delicious and a real overachiever at under $14! (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 14, 2017

Maybe about seven years ago, I tasted a few of the bubblies from Loxarel at a trade show. Ever since then I have been hooked. I have consumed so many bottles across their dizzying array of products, and built up so much product conviction along the way, that I would put these up against any sparkling wines in the store. The 999 is quite a dry expression of high elevation Pinot Noir and Xarel-lo Vermell (red skinned mutation of the indigenous Xarel-lo and a key component to most cava and sparkling Penedes wine). The wine is recently disgorged, stylish, and very easy to drink!

Staff ImageIvan Diaz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 07, 2017

This wine gains its gorgeous ruby color by blending 60% Xarel-lo Vermell and 40% Pinot Noir. While it shows more fruity richness than the Refugi, this is still a Brut Nature and is utterly, refreshingly dry. Restrained strawberry, dried cranberry, tart citrus and orange peel all wash across the palate with a bracing acidity and tickling bubbles.

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 16, 2017

This is one of the tastiest, coolest, and most interesting rose bubbly we carry but unfortunately the label does not scream that. Still if you are willing to look past the label you can get into a wine by my favorite cava producers in our store. This is worlds away from a soft strawberry, watermelon and sweet finish. This wine is all tart earthy raspberry with plenty of acid and minerality. Dry finish with that seems to linger forever this is a ridiculously good bottle of bubbly in just a ridiculous package.

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 14, 2017

This is the Cava Rosé for the seekers, those who are tired of the fruity pink blandness of the sparkling rosé world. Loxarel brings us the 999 Brut Nature Rosat, made from high elevation, Biodynamically farmed Estate Pinot Noir and Xarel-lo Vermell, aged 12-14 months on the lees. Nutty, chalky aromas abound, with just the slightest hint of frozen raspberry, and the palate is absolutely bone dry, mineral driven and tangy, with wafts of white mushroom and slightly oxidized red apple.

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 30, 2017

Delicious rosé bubbly for under $15! Red apples and macerated berry aromas are the first notes I get, with a fun mineral bouquet that lingers. On the palate, a multitude of red fruit flavors like pomegranate and cranberry play with red apple once again. Crisp and tart on the finish, with beautiful elevated acidity. Like the winking owls on the label, it would be wise to pick up a couple bottles

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2013 Can Mayol Loxarel Garnatxa Blanca Brut Nature Penedes ($14.99)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Produced with Garnacha Blanca grapes, the new 2013 Garnatxa Blanca Brut Nature (they use the Catalan spelling of the grape) is the first I know of produced with the variety. It's sourced from vines grown at high altitude (for Penedès), 800 meters, from 30-year-old plants kept in contact with the lees for no less than 15 months. The nose shows some developed aromas with some leesy complexity and a balsamic touch of camphor, as well as an intriguing note of diesel that develops with time in the glass. The palate shows creaminess, I guess the bubbles, plus the variety and good, incipient complexity. Nice, with a different personality. 6,000 bottles produced (LG) 90+" (10/2016)

K&L Notes: We present to you the latest and greatest bubbly from "Mr. Loxarel" himself, Josep Mitjans. This is Garnatxa Blanca, from high elevation sites, with roughly 15 months on its lees. Clean and bright like all their wines, it is also mineral and very easy to drink! Can Mayol, which bottles under the trademarked name "Loxarel," is a winery that has farmed organically for 15 years. The Mitjan family, owners of Can Mayol, also employ some biodynamic treatments. They keep animals, including chickens, a horse, and a donkey named Garnatxa. While the focus is on "Brut Nature" (no dosage added) sparkling wine production, they also produce some very interesting still wines. In their chalky, high-altitude vineyards (above 2,400 feet for their highest vines, among the highest in the Penedès D.O.), Xarel-lo, Macabeo, Parellada, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive and pick up an incredible minerality, which makes their wines wonderfully distinctive and very exciting to drink.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 14, 2017

Maybe about seven years ago I tasted a few of the bubblies from Loxarel at a Spanish wine trade show in San Francisco. Ever since then I have been hooked. I have consumed so many bottles across their dizzying array of products, and built up so much product conviction along the way, that I would put these up against any sparkling wines in the store. This is the first vintage of Garnatxa Blanca, and the only bubbly made from this grape that I have yet to try. Loxarel's trademark fine bubbles combine with slightly weightier fruit from the high elevation Garnatxa blanca grapes to create something that is equal parts food friendly and refreshing.

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 14, 2017

This wine from Loxarel is quite unique as it the first year the winery has vinified a sparkling from entirely Garnatxa Blanca. The grapes were harvested from high elevation vineyards in Cataluyna in excess of 2,600 ft and spent at least 15 months of aging on the lees. The wine is also both certified organic and biodynamic. Aromas of white flowers, unripe apple, pear, and white nectarine followed by fresh herbs. A delicious blend of ripe stone and orchard fruit flavors on the palate. Weightier than expected; bubble texture is delicate. Lively acidity with a distinct saline, mineral finish. The salty minerality makes it a great accompaniment with seafood options like oysters and anchovies

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2013 Can Mayol Loxarel "Refugi" Reserva Brut Nature Penedes ($17.99)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The yeasty and smoky 2013 Refugi is a wine they produce in a refuge (refugi is the Catalan word) in the vineyard, ten meters below ground, and it's mostly Xarello with 10% Chardonnay; it is partly fermented in new 500-liter Hungarian oak barrels with a second fermentation in bottle following the traditional method. It was kept with the lees for no less than 20 months. The effect of the oak is noticeable but not overwhelming, providing sensations of toasted bread and cold bonfire. The palate shows lively acidity and effervescent bubbles that provide freshness and length. It has a pleasant, slightly bitter and mineral finish. (LG)" (10/2016)

K&L Notes: Bottling under the trademarked name "Loxarel," Can Mayol is a winery that has been farming organically for more than a decade. The Mitjan family, owners of Can Mayol, also employ some biodynamic treatments. They keep animals, including chickens, a horse and a donkey named Garnatxa. The focus is on "Brut Nature" (no dosage added) Penedes sparkling wine (they abandoned the "Cava" designation a few years ago). Xarel-lo, Macabeo, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive and pick up an incredible minerality, which makes these wines wonderfully distinctive and very exciting to drink. For the "Refugi" bottling, the blend of late has been Xarel-lo, including some top quality 70-year-old fruit, and Chardonnay. This is a brisk, bone dry style, with a saline, chalky, lemony quality. It is the most linear and driest of our current Loxarel wines. A singular sparkling wine, and for under $18! (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 29, 2017

This is clean and focused with orchard fruits and apple tones to the somewhat leesy entry. The Chardonnay makes its presence felt in the mid-palate then the fine finish leaves a chalky freshness.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 11, 2016

This 2013 vintage, freshly disgorged bottling of Refugi is showing spectacularly well. Bright, salty mineral laced citrus flavors show a rare combination of traits for under $20 bubbly: bone dry yet super drinkable, elegant bead and texture, and the intrigue that keeps you coming back for another (large) sip. New bottle and package for this crisp and linear number from staff favorite DI Can Mayol Loxarel. Think of it as their blanc des blancs: racy, clean and mineral driven.

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2016 Can Mayol Loxarel "Apel" Ancestral Penedes ($18.99)

Jancis Robinson: "Fragrant with super-ripe pears, just off dry but tastes drier because of the very high acidity. Slightly sweet-sour on the finish and a slight tannic grip but packed with flavour and authenticity. Great with or without food, I would imagine. (JH)" (02/2017)

K&L Notes: Another new bubbly from Loxarel, the "Apel" is a Xarel-lo based methode ancestrale, allowed to naturally ferment prior to being bottled and then fermented fully dry, possessing just the right amount of sugar while in bottle to convert into trapped CO2. The resulting wine is dry, expressive, elegantly textured and more-ish as can be! Can Mayol, which bottles under the trademarked name "Loxarel," is a winery that has farmed organically for 15 years. The Mitjan family, owners of Can Mayol, also employ some biodynamic treatments. They keep animals, including chickens, a horse and a donkey named Garnatxa. While the focus is on "Brut Nature" (no dosage added) sparkling wine production, they also produce some very interesting still wines. In their chalky, high-altitude vineyards (above 2,400 feet for their highest vines, among the highest in the Penedès D.O.), Xarel-lo, Macabeo, Parellada, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive and pick up an incredible minerality, which makes these wines wonderfully distinctive and very exciting to drink.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 14, 2017

Josep Mitjans, winemaker of Loxarel, is not one to rest on his laurels. One of his more recent creations is Apel, a methode ancestrale sparkling consisting of 100% old vine Xarel-lo, fermented with indigenous yeasts and without any liqueur de tirage or dosage (aka, in both cases, sugar). The resulting wine is nicely dry, perhaps with a softer bead and less savory Mediterranean notes when compared to their flagship Reserva Familiar. I love them both, and expect to go through many bottles of the Apel (as well as many more of Loxarel's other delicious sparklers!) Maybe about seven years ago, I tasted a few of the bubblies from Loxarel at a Spanish wine trade show. Ever since then I have been hooked. I have consumed so many bottles across their dizzying array of products, and built up so much product conviction along the way, that I would put these up against any sparkling wines in the store.

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2011 Can Mayol Loxarel "Reserva Familiar" Brut Nature Penedes ($19.99)

Can Mayol, which bottles under the trademarked name "Loxarel," is a winery that has farmed organically for 15 years. The Mitjan family, owners of Can Mayol, also employ some biodynamic treatments. They keep animals, including chickens, a horse and a donkey named Garnatxa. While the focus is on "Brut Nature" (no dosage added) sparkling wine production, they also produce some very interesting still wines. In their chalky, high-altitude vineyards (above 2,400 feet for their highest vines, among the highest in the Penedès D.O.), Xarel-lo, Macabeo, Parellada, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive and pick up an incredible minerality, which makes these wines wonderfully distinctive and very exciting to drink. Featuring some of the property's oldest, most prized parcels of Xarel-lo grapes, the reserva familiar sees over six year on its lees. This is very impressive bubbly that we can honestly say gives a lot of Champagne at twice the price a real run for its money.

Staff ImageIvan Diaz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 07, 2017

The 2011 is creamier and a bit richer than the 2010, though maintaining the dry, linear features that give this wine its unique character. Flavors of apple, lemon, and stony/chalky minerals gain extra roundness from the extended time (six-plus years) on the lees. Instead of crunchy green apples, the profile here shows more ripened, baked golden apples, hints of baking spice, and moussey bubbles. This profound and versatile wine will pair perfectly with the same foods you might pair with Champagne, from creamy Mahon cheese to fresh yellowtail crudo, or even buttermilk fried chicken. Enjoy!

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 13, 2017

Once again, another release of Loxarel Reserva Familiar brings the goods. As always, the aromatics are filled with generous yellow fruits, clean chalk and some traces of the Mediterranean countryside. It's the palate where the fireworks really begin: ripe citrus fruits show real precision and a mouthwatering saline quality as well, with a fine stream of bubbles creating a wonderful texture, and flavors that linger nicely long after taking a sip of the wine. For this organic, estate grown, old vine Xarel-lo dominated blend, carefully aged on its lees for over five years and then hand disgorged (and hand labelled!) to come in at under $20 is mind boggling. I don't say this lightly, but pound for pound, euro for euro and dollar for dollar, this is my favorite bottle of bubbles in the store.

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2011 Can Mayol Loxarel "MM" Gran Reserva Brut Nature Penedes ($24.99)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The heavy bottle of the light Rosé 2011 MM de Loxarel came gushing out with violence when I uncorked it. It is a very pale blend of Xarello with 40% Pinot Noir that matured in bottle with the lees no less than 42 months. This time they told me it was white, but I'd say it's still a Rosé. But what really matters is that it's a very nice sparkling wine with more complexity provided by the extended contact with the lees. Decayed roses, freshly baked brioche and hints of mushrooms and forest floor are detectable in the nose. The palate is silky and it fills your mouth with a texture provided by abundant, albeit very small and integrated bubbles. Tasty, fresh and complex. Super. 5,000 bottles produced." (10/2016)

K&L Notes: Can Mayol, which bottles under the trademarked name "Loxarel," is a winery that has been farming organically for more than a decade. The Mitjan family, owners of Can Mayol, also employ some biodynamic treatments. They keep animals, including chickens, a horse and a donkey named Garnatxa. While the focus is on "Brut Nature" (no dosage added) sparkling wine production, they also produce some very interesting still wines as well. In their chalky, high altitude vineyards (above 2,400 feet for their highest vines, among the highest in the Penedès D.O.), Xarel-lo, Macabeo, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive and pick up an incredible minerality, which makes these wines wonderfully distinctive and very exciting to drink. This consists of 60% Pinot Noir, but the winery still chooses to label MM as a Blanc de Noirs given the predominance of PN in the blend. This has the requisite Pinot Noir round, fleshy fruit and mouthfeel, but with mouth watering chalkiness as well! As with all their other wines we carry, MM is bottled Brut Nature, so what you are tasting is the product of distinctive, organically farmed fruit on a great calcareous site, fermented dry and aged on its lees for over 6 years — without any added sugar. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 20, 2017

This is an oeuil de perdrix, light coppery pink colored rose. Flavors are precise, with red currant, fennel and subtle herbs, an underlying calcareous minerality and a wonderfully elegant bead. Super classy stuff for under $25. Maybe about seven years ago, I tasted a few of the bubblies from Loxarel at a Spanish wine trade show. Ever since then I have been hooked. I have consumed so many bottles across their dizzying array of products, and built up so much product conviction along the way, that I would put these up against any sparkling wines in the store.

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2005 Can Mayol Loxarel "109 Mesos" Gran Reserva Brut Penedes ($79.99)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 109 Gran Reserva is old vine, head-pruned Xarello with 10% Chardonnay kept in bottle with the lees for no less than 109 months until it is released, but the 'sur lie' can be much longerin fact, until you decide to pull the cork, as the bottles are sold without being disgorged. It's therefore cloudy and full of lees (depending on how much you shake the bottle!), which help prevent oxidation in the wine and continue evolving in the bottle. I have been greatly impressed with this bottling in the past and was very much looking forward to this 2005, which revealed a complex and smoky nose full of leesy aromas of baked bread and brioche, but keeping some fennel and white flower notes in the background; it developed more camphor and balsamic aromas as the wine sat in the glass. It has good volume and length supported by a solid spine of acidity. The bubbles, given the long time in bottle, are small and quite integrated, providing texture and amplifying aromas and flavors. There is good complexity and a sharp, mineral finish. I've tasted older vintages and they develop nicely in bottle. I think this is just a tad below the lovely 2004, just a notch more linearity. 1,000 bottles produced." (10/2016)

K&L Notes: Can Mayol, which bottles under the trademarked name "Loxarel," is a winery that has been farming organically for more than a decade. The Mitjan family, owners of Can Mayol, also employ some biodynamic treatments. They keep animals, including chickens, a horse and a donkey named Garnatxa. While the focus is on "Brut Nature" (no dosage added) sparkling wine production, they also produce some very interesting still wines as well. In their chalky, high altitude vineyards (above 2,400 feet for their highest vines, among the highest in the Penedès D.O.), Xarel-lo, Macabeo, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive and pick up an incredible minerality, which makes these wines wonderfully distinctive and very exciting to drink. Consisting of 60% Pinot Noir, the winery still chooses to label MM as a Blanc de Noir given the predominance of PN in the blend. This has the requisite Pinot Noir round, fleshy fruit and mouthfeel, but with mouth watering chalkiness as well! As with all their other wines we carry, MM is bottled Brut Nature, so what you are tasting is the product of distinctive, organically farmed fruit on a great calcareous site, fermented dry, and aged on the lees for over 6 years without any added sugar. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 14, 2017

109 Mesos is the tete de cuvee at Can Mayol. The oldest vine Xarel-lo vines are blended with a 10% dash of Chardonnay, and as the name suggests aged on its lees for 109 months, under cork. In fact, it is never disgorged, as winemaker Josep Mitjans believes that for this cuvee the lees, which contributes to the wine's complexity, longevity and freshness, should be allowed to do so right up until the point of purchase. That said, you will need a toolbox on hand to grab a pair of pliers, bend the iron prongs and disgorge this beauty yourself. You will be amply rewarded with one of the most original bottles of bubbles in our inventory. Maybe about seven years ago, I tasted just a few of the bubblies from Loxarel at a Spanish wine trade show. Ever since then I have been hooked. I have consumed so many bottles across their dizzying array of products, and built up so much product conviction along the way, that I would put these up against any sparkling wines in the store.