2009 Can Mayol Loxarel "Gran Reserva de Familia" Brut Nature Penedes

SKU #1190618 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Gran Reserva de Familia is a traditional blend of the three Cava grapes produced by the traditional method (but it's not a Cava, it's a Penedès sparkling wine), which aged in contact with the lees in bottle for 50 months with no dosage. The nose is full of fennel, flowers and aromatic herbs, with hints of orange peel that made me think of a chalky barrel-fermented white, more a white wine which happens to have bubbles. Those are the flavors you find in the palate, certainly unusual but they give it a completely different and welcomed personality, a Penedès that made me think of Anselme Selosse. Superbly-priced too. Bravo! (LG)  (6/2015)

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, 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 Gran Reserva sees 51 months 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. *Please note that the label reads "Reserva Familiar," but we confirmed that this was the wine that was reviewed.

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Price: $19.99
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By: Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/13/2016 | Send Email
This has always been, not only, one of may favorite bottles of Spanish sparkling, but one of favorite bottles of sparkling with period. With bright, clean, slightly toasty aromas and flavors of yellow apple, white nectarine, and a salinity that takes you through the long incredibly dry finish.

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/12/2016 | Send Email
*I'm updating my review from last Fall to reflect the new, February 2016 disgorgement. Now with around six years on its lees, tthe GR de Familia/Reserva Familiar (take your pick, two different names for the same wine) is delicious: yellow and citrus fruits show surprising intensity, matched by an elegant mouth feel and a real ability to refresh! At $19.99, this is my favorite house sparkler I have come across in over a decade of tasting, buying and selling wines professionally.

By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/10/2016 | Send Email
I love it when our regional buyers go out in search of bubbles. We've got so many great, reasonably priced red wines, and plenty of affordable whites, but we can never have enough sparkling wine. It's the quality sub-$20 sparklers that are the toughest to find. In the case of the Loxarel, there's a clean citrus fruit palate, refreshing acidity, and a slightly nutty finish that balances out into one fantastic wine. I'm hoping Joe can continue to provide us with top notch Spanish bubbles like this because I can't afford to drink Dom Perignon every night.

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/26/2016 | Send Email
This is a great bottle of bubbles driven by high quality organic fruit and minerals extracted from the chalky soils of Penedes, Spain. The wine is aged on the lees for over four years, resulting in a rich toastiness that wonderfully balances out its bracing minerality. Bottles of sparkling this good are usually accompanied with a hefty price tag (and come from Champagne). This more than satisfies that Champagne itch at a fraction of the cost.

By: Randy Hagerman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/25/2016 | Send Email
This is a beautiful example of just how delicious Cava can be! Champagne fans will love this wine. The notes of baked almond and pear wind into a chalky, mineral finish that lingers. There is plenty of weight and a creamy texture reminding you of the 50 months this elegant Cava spent on its lees. Yum!

By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/29/2016 | Send Email
Remember those great old cartoons where Daffy Duck’s head suddenly spins around in delirious disbelief? OK, get this, when I first took a whiff and a sip of this Cava I did a double-take so quickly I almost gyrated my head off its axis just to make sure what I was tasting….That any sparkling wine of this sublimely creamy, magnanimous character could sell for under twenty bucks…..with a melange of flavors from flaky brioche to summer-ripened berries to marzipan to Bosc pears, where does this superb wine end? With any luck, in the glittering flute in front of you, or me, for that matter. Buy it, try it, but be warned, one bottle will never suffice, or my name isn’t Daffy Duck…..
Top Value!

By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/4/2016 | Send Email
Crafted from grapes that include 70 year old Xarel-lo vines, this is bright but still shows the gorgeous lees-y qualities without any hint of reduction. There’s sophistication here and a subtle salinity with a dry, beautifully chalky finish. I tend to love everything from this mad scientist Cava producer, but the 2009 Brut Nature is especially lovely and bargain-priced to boot – a celebratory favorite that continues to impress even Champagne lovers.

By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/29/2015 | Send Email
This is dry, clean and lacy, with a very pure fruit component of wild raspberry and strawberry. The intensity and fine bead will remind you of a very good Champagne, but the price gives it away. This is an absolute steal for the money.

By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/15/2015 | Send Email
This is a beautiful bottle of wine! I am more and more intrigued by the Spanish sparkling wines, where there are such surprising and intriguing notes to be found. This wine has a pleasant, taut mineral backbone with exotic notes of tangerine peel, cardamom, and just a touch of brioche. Overall, a wine with incredible depth and vibrancy that can easily stand up to any well-made Champagne.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Other White Wines

Country:

Spain

- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.
Sub-Region:

Penedes

Alcohol Content (%): 12