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Wine of the week: Dibon Brut Reserve NV

101462How much did this Cava impress me? The bottle had a neck hanger with a Winestream Media blurb, but I bought it anyway.

And why not? The Dibon ($10, purchased, 11.5%) is a sophisticated sparkling wine with layers of flavor that is made more in the style of Champagne than Cava — creamy and caramel-like with candied pineapple in back and not as much tart apple. In this, it's got more winemaking going on than I like, but you can't argue with the results. This is an incredible value for $10.

My guess is that this wine, made by the largish Spanish producer Bodegas Pinord, is a one-off – made because there were so many quality grapes available, thanks to the euro crisis and the collapse of the Spanish economy and its 25 percent unemployment rate. Cava sales in Spain were down six percent in 2012, so it makes sense that some producers would re-label bottles or make wines especially for the export market. The Dibon is not listed on the Pinord website, and even Robert Parker had not heard of it when he reviewed it.

Highly recommended, and a candidate for the 2014 $10 Hall of Fame. Drink this chilled on its own or with Sunday brunch or something like a crabcake appetizer.

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