2013 Can Mayol Loxarel "Refugi" Reserva Brut Nature Penedes
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. 12,000 bottles produced.
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)