2016 Alta Alella ‘Maller’ Brut Nature
Region: Alella < Catalunya < Spain
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming; sandy-granitic soils called Saulo; made in the ancestral method with a disgorgement; zero dosage and zero added SO2; 11%
Winemaker: Laura Bret
The Alta Alella estate sits inside of a protected nature park,18 km from Barcelona and just 2 km from the Mediterranean Sea. In this tiny appellation of only 9 producers, the family-run Alta Alella has been farming organically, making “grand cru” site-specific Cava and also a range of natural wines (which owner Josep-Maria Pujol-Busquets, prefers to call ‘radical wines’) for years, way before it was a thing. Their natty wines even have their own production facility separate from the main cellars, housed in recycled shipping containers from the Port of Barcelona, called Celler de les Aus (Cellar of the Birds), because each wine is named after one of the birds that haunt the richly biodiverse vineyards and the Serralada de Marina Natural Park surrounding them. This is one of their ‘radical’ natural wines, a pet’nat of the traditional Cava grape, Macabeo, that is disgorged, and has no added So2 or dosage. Elegant, briny and super citrusy, this wine is a pure expression of the grape itself and the coastal terroir, rather than the yeast and sugar added in traditional method. We got the last 6 bottles of the vintage, so grab some quickly if you’re a bubbles fan – it’s a supremely delicious and unique hybrid of ancestral method pet’nat and Cava.