After a month of drinking our way through western France, we shift our EU Austerity Drinking Adventure south. But before bathing in Spain’s wine culture, we tack on three days in Andorra.
We may never get another chance to visit it. So a bus takes us from red-bricked, religious, bustling Toulouse. After an hour of flat, arid land, the Pyrenees emerge like a spinal cord.
I stop editing wine notes, for we are entering a world of giants.
We reach the French/Andorran border on top of the Pyrenees’ peaks:
Paperwork processed (like 10.2 million other annual tourists), we descend into the capital, Andorra la Vella, enclosed by peaks. Our hike to the hotel finds the city asleep for siesta. So we visit the tourist office.
They exude kindness. But without vineyards to visit, we sign up for a bus tour, that happens to be two-for-one, and tack on a second bus ride for half off (this is an Austerity Tour after all).
We check out a few cliff-clinging churches….
…then pick up wines (and food) at the grocery shop. Since the only grapes here end up in some worrying jug spirit, we, like the locals, look toward Spain for wine. In celebration, we crack open a value bubbly:
Capdevila Pujol, Brut Natural Reserva, Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, Cava, Spain NV
Aromas: smell young and powerfully of vanilla meringue (oak?), yeasty autolytics, and lemon.
Palate: This feels off dry. Such slight sugar balances cracking acids, a lower alcohol (11.5%), and altogether lighter body. The texture feels soft like baking flour.
Flavors: Chalk, yeast, lime, and lemon pith make for a refreshing fizz of moderate length.
Conclusions. This is simply good (3 of 5) Cava for little money (7.50 EU). The fact it is 100% perelada grape makes it a bit cool (most Cava blend). Its fluffy texture and fizz tidy our palates like a fresh dusting of makeup powder.
We wind down the evening with our first hotel TV and real beds. After 101 days of non-stop travel, CNN’s familiarity comforts us.
Check back next Monday for our EU Austerity (Sobriety) Tour of Andorra’s churches, spas, and mountain tops. Worry not, there will be wine.