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
Brut – Xarello, Macabeu, Peredara
Fairly subtle classic cava nose, Very vibrant dark honey, fresh, fresh citrus, not completely unfamiliar, clean fresh, very approachable and drinkable.
Slightly brighter and more vibrant fruit and floral nose. Tighter fresher, broader and denser, full flavoured, bright fresh.
Brut Rosat (garnacha, merlot)
Very dark ruby colour, juicy blackcurrant juice nose, Dark juicy, fresh bold, mellow, not really bright, but pretty juicy and floral. Almost like a slightly savoury sparkling Ribena.
Extra Brut (pinot noir)
A cava expression of pinot noir, bold red berries, nice and yeasty and rich, quite broad and very fruit creamy but very toasty and quite special, different. Elegant, flavours last a long time in the mouth.
|Torreblanca cava ageing in the cellar