T.G.I.F. Champagne and the like…N.V. Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut

I picked up this week’s selection on a whim at my local Safeway store, where it was on sale for $8.99.   It’s been many years since I tried this, but I recall it being one of the few sparkling wines I enjoyed before I generally enjoyed sparkling wine.  In particular, I enjoyed the extra dry version.  I thought it would be interesting to see if my palate has changed after so many years.  I know in some ways it has because I now enjoy Brut sparklers, and there was a time I only enjoyed Extra Dry sparklers.

Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut

Freixenet (pronounced ‘fresh-eh-NET) Cordon Negro is a typical Spanish Cava blend of three white Spanish grape varieties – Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada.  As the #1 imported sparkling wine in the world, this one is widely available anywhere sparkling wine are sold.

Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut

Region: Spain>Catalunya>Cava

Variety –  35% Macabeo, 25% Xarel·lo, 40% Parellada

Dosage – 7 g/L

$9, 11.5% abv

Production method: Méthode Champenoise;

My tasting notes follow:

Appearance: Very pale straw color. Active carbonation with small bubbles.

Aromas: Austere nose of green apples with faint bread dough note.

Body: Somewhat course texture.  It was light bodied, crisp and dry. Good acidity.  I was disappointed that the  bubbles faded in the glass pretty quickly.  

Taste: Simple citrus (lemon, lime) and green apple flavors. A bit too dry for my tastes in that I didn’t get a lot of fruit.

Finish: Short

Pair with: The beauty of sparkling wines is their versatility with food. This one is very light, so I would stick with Mimosas or light fare such as salads, or seafood.

This is definitely a value play.  For $9, I found it to be a solid, good sparkler. But at greater than $10 I’d look elsewhere.  As far as my palate evolving after all these years, I would say “Yes”, but not so much Brut vs. Extra Dry (By the way, not sure about the about which is sweeter “Brut” or “Extra Dry”, etc?,  click here to see descriptions of the sweetness of sparkling), but rather as my knowledge and experience with sparklers has increased, I’ve come to know what to look for, and what makes one sparkler (at least technically speaking) better than another. And for me, once I understand that it may influence how it tastes for me.

In Vino Veritas!