Champagne and Cava in a tie

Friday the 3rd of February I held a Chardonnay tasting of sparkling wines, and three of four wines were made by the traditional method. I really wanted to know how the wines differ in character.

The small cellar in Stockholm's Old Town where I have tastings sometimes only holds 12 people, and unfortunately 4 of my guests had caught the flu and could not come. So we were 9 happy  people that were curious to try these wines. The tasting was blind to get an honest opinion about the wines.

The wines we tried were these:

  1. Chapel Hill sparkling Chardonnay: Made by charmat method in Hungery. Costs about 5 €
  2. Graham Beck Blanc de Blanc brut: traditional method from South Africa. About 10 €
  3. Juvé y Camps Milisimé Brut: Traditional method/ Cava. About 14 €
  4. Palmer Co Blanc de Blancs: Traditional method/ Champagne. About 30 €


When everyone had had the time to taste the wines and think about them for a while by them selves, we discussed them and at the end every one had to choose their favourite.

Chapel hill got 1 vote. On the grounds that it was fruity, welcoming and uncomplicated.

Graham Beck got 0 votes. Most thought it was ok when really cool, but then it started to smell and taste of yoghurt, sour milk and ... cat pee

Juvé Camps Milisimé got 4 votes. A well structured and a fresh total experience, with a good balance and nice fruitiness.Very powerful.

Palmer & Co got 4 votes. Many flavours, well balanced and a nice minerality. Nice acidity.

So the conclusion is that in our small group the Cava and Champagne tied on the first place. But I must say that the experiment of tasting them all at once and comparing them was very exciting indeed, and I really recommend you to do it too.