Cava is to Spain what champagne is to France. Way back in the 19th century the area in and around Penedes to the south of Barcelona there was a lot of grapes growing, but they weren’t known for quality wines. The indigenous grapes were macabeu, xerello and parellada, grown for their yields and ability to ripen but provide plenty of acidity. In 1872 after a visit to Champagne, Josep Raventos Fatjo returned to his estate in Penedes and had the revolutionary idea to begin producing traditional method sparkling wine, from the indigenous grape varieties which as I mentioned had plenty of acids ideal for the wine. This proved to be a wise decision and changed the entire wine industry in the region. His son then wanted to protect the reputation they were gaining for high quality sparkling wine, and thus created one of the first DO classifications in Spain to protect the name and area of production. As the Spanish government weren’t particularly interested they went to Brussels to get the protection, but the problem was that they couldn’t agree with the area of production, only that it must be made in the traditional method. The Denominacion de Origen area covers Penedes, areas to the south near Valencia, and even as far west as Rioja, however 95% of the cava produced comes from the Penedes region.
|Traditional method bottle of cava
Reserva Brut 2009
Nice fresh familiar cava nose, smoky citrus, creamy nose, wonderfully full and vibrant on the palate yet amazingly well balanced, focused and driven. Some great but unpretentious autolysis notes. SO enjoyable yet unique.
De Nit Rose 2009 (5% monastrell short cold skin contact)
Red citrus notes, quite vibrant and some astringent tannins texture. Bright slightly savoury red berries, not sweet, quite subtle. A very differet rose wine. Not rose but not white either. Interesting combination of tannin and yeast notes.
Elisabet Raventos 2006 (4 years on lees)
Floral vanilla creamy citrus notes. Honeysuckle white lily. Deeper more intense and serious, builds beautifully on the palate, layers of complexity. Very subtle but assured autolysis notes. Still fresh and will benefit from age. A champagne drinkers cava, no doubt.
Silencis Xerello 2011
Very intense fruity nose, grapefruit lychee apricot, freshness persistence, balance, very delicate and approachable, not a particular wine of distinction, but a great crisp fruit driven wine nonetheless. Good phenolics, some subtle viscosity.
|Raventos i Blanc Reserva de la Finca Cava