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The grape variety which provides the foundation, weight, power and alcohol of Cava. In the old days, it suffered of the same oxidation problems as Verdejo did in Rueda. The result was Cavas with a curious 'rooty' flavour that was much vilified by north-European wine-writers. Temperature control and other apparatus of modern winemaking have ameliorated this.
Xarel.lo grows in smaller bunches than the Macabeo and Parellada, with looser berries than either. It ripens after the Macabeo and its wine has good aroma and high total acidity. It likes deep, fertile soils and prolonged pruning. It can be susceptible to frosts.
Wine EnthusiastDusty stone-fruit aromas suggest yeast and nectarine. This varietal Xarel-lo feels citrusy and spunky; flavors of melon, orange and nectarine are good but standard on the finish. Overall, this is linear and fairly basic for white wine.