I love diversity, that’s why I love cava

The diversity within the DO Cava is both a blessing and a curse, and many people working with cava would agree on this. I choose to see the positive side. So what is actually so great about it? Well let me explain…

xarello grapesThe biggest reason for the great diversity among cava is the fact that nine grape verities that can be used, more to choose form right there. Xarel.lo, macabeu and parellada are the most common verities and make up the backbone in traditional blends. Many people would say that this trio is the soul of cava and what makes it so special. But you also have chardonnay and malvasia among the white grapes allowed. When it comes to the red verities there are trepat, garnacha, monastrell and of course the very popular pinot noir. Since it is now allowed to make blanc de noire also in the DO Cava, with trepat as only exception, the possibilities are many. In my opinion all these red grapes make a great spread of rosé cavas, from the elegant salmon pink to the fruity bright raspberry coloured, that can be enjoyed and used in combination to endless types of food.

Bottles in rimaThe three age classes from the minimum ageing of nine months, to the reserva at a minimum of fifteen months and the gran reserva at thirty months or more, are also one aspect that widens the range of choice. Unfortunately many people only know the very young products and think that this is the only way to have cava. Numerous times I have met wine people and even fellow sommeliers that think that cava cannot be aged, and nothing could be further from the truth. Some even say that the local grapes don’t have the structure to age in a good way, and to those I can very much recommend a trip to the cava houses of Gramona, Recaredo, Juvé y Camps or Castell San Antoni, just to mention a few.

Vine yards at RecaredoOne other aspect that contributes to the wide spread of choice with in the cava family is the price range, and this is a very debated subject. Mass produced or high end, the choice is yours. I’m not saying that this wide spread is all good. But if you exclude the very cheapest bottles from the discussion, I do think it is great that you can find a cava that suits your taste, the occasion and your wallet. Because to be honest, most of us are not made of money and can’t drink 50 Euro bubbles every day, at least I can’t. And one thing that you can be sure of is that you very often get extremely good value for your money, since the land prices and production costs are so much lower in Penedès then say Champagne.

So my dear friends, if you have not already dived in to the sea of great cavas out there and enjoyed the diversity. I highly recommend you to do that as soon as possible and I’m absolutely positive you will find some favourites.

Cheers and happy hunting!

Anna and cava

Bottles that will keep you going until spring comes!

Do you like me long for Spring?I hate this cold, snow, ice and gloomy weather, so much that I have become totally addicted to tulips! Maybe because I can't enjoy bubbles in the same way as before due to a growing belly. But I thouht I'd give you all some tips regarding nice bottles that might help you brighten up that gray winter day! All these bottles are also avalible at the swedish monopoly, for all you poor people that share my unfortunate situation of beeing stuck here in the snow.

IMG_1030.JPGBombonetta by Jaume Giró i Giró, This bottle is one of my long time favourites from the winemaker Ramón. It is a brut Gran Reserva aged for a minimum of 40 months. Grapes: 38% Xarel.lo, 17% Parellada, 17 % Macabeu 15% Pinot Noir and 13% Chardonnay. Wonderful fresh stye with flowers, nuts and baked goods in the nose. Great soft bubbles. At the monopoly in Sweden you can now buy this bottle for 229 SEK, which is a GREAT price! (Special ordering segment nr: 77591) A real "must buy"!

 

 

de nitDe Nit by Raventós i Blanc, This sparkling wine (Raventós left DO Cava in 2012) gives me real spring feelings! It is a very pale rosé, that is super crisp and elegnat. I LOVE it! It is an extra brut Reserva aged for a minimum of 18th months. Grapes: 42% macabeu, 37% xarel-lo, 14% parellada and 7% monastrell. Super fresh with its white grape base, but with a rich fruity pallet that really makes you think of spring. And nothing makes you long for summer as a rosé! Can be bought at the monopoly for 169 SEK. (Special ordering segment nr: 77423)

OliviaOlivia by Castell D'Age If you are looking for something ecologic this cava is a great spring choise. It is actually aged in oak, which gives a little touch that I like. It is a Reserva brut nature, so no added sugar. Grapes: 100% chardonnay. This cava is my clear favourit from this house. It is fruity, with clear notes of bread from the ageing but those subtil oak notes realy make it that extra special. It can be bought at the monopoly for 171 SEK. (Special ordering segment nr: 77169)

These are my three tips for right now! Hope you like them!

Bubbly hugs!!

 

 

Albert De Vilarnau Glop en silenci... Fermentado en barrica

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext week I'm hosting a big tasting for 80 people, for a big wine club in Stockholm. I'm of course very much looking forward to this, when have the chance to present some of my favourite houses and Cavas. So I thought I'd give you a sneak preview. Vilarnau, is a Cava producer that both me and Andréas are extremely fond of. Their winemaker Eva is absolutely fantastic and we are waiting with excitement on some of her projects to run their course so we can try the final products.

Vilarnau have a great portfolio, but I must admit that I'm very fond of their two Albert de Vilarnau. And the one aged on barrica is my absolute favourite. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is an extra brut with  50% Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, 30% Macabeo and 20% Parellada, aged for a minimum of 30 months. Part of the free-run juice is fermented in medium toast French Allier oak barrels.  Batonnage is carried out over a period of 6 months, which of course gives an other dimension to the Cava.

The delicate bubbles are very integrated, and with the fruit, nut and cookie notes this Cava makes me sigh. It is fresh but still complex and has a personality that I think tries to tell you something more, without being unpolite, if you get what I mean. It is clearly a Cava that I would like to spend more time with and get to know better.

Unfortunately you can't buy this Cava in Sweden. Sorry my dear fellow countrymen. But you can by some of Vilarnau's other Cavas, so you wont be totally without.

I truly hope that you have had a great #Happy_Friday and that you too have had the opportunity to open a ice bottle of Cava.

Wishing all of you a great weekend!

Tasting of Dominion De La Vega with the Cava group

Last Friday I finally managed to get some of my cava friends together to try six cavas from Dominion De La Vega, situated in Valencia. Very exciting since I had never tried them, nor anything else out of Valencia. http://www.dominiodelavega.com/

A Friday is generally a very good day to have a tasting since everyone is very relaxed and positive since the weekend is waiting. And since the weather is really bad here in Sweden with all the snow melting and the sky beeing all greay, we really needed something to cheer us up.

We tasted: Brut Nature Brut Brut Reserva Especial Artemayor (aged on barrel) Brut Rosé Rosé Pinot Noir

And since we still had some snow I  put the cavas out to cool. The result was very cool cava indeed, so we used our hands to get the optimal temperature. :-)

It was a great tasting and so nice to try something new.

 Everyone had the same favourite too, the Artemayor, that is aged 6 months on oak, giving it a nice roundness and flavour of slight toffee, vanilla but still keeping it's freshness with apple and rasberry notes. And like all the other cavas the Artemayor had a very nice bubble structure too.

A big thank you to Dominion De La Vega for making us able to try these cavas!

 

Still time to buy bubbles for New Year's Eve

Here in Sweden we have a monopoly as many of you all ready know. This makes it a bit more difficult for us to buy bubbles for New Years. One reason is that we don't have a very wide selection if we have not planed in advanced and ordered especially. The other reason is the opening times at the monopoly shops around Christmas. But still there is time to go and buy some bottles so we all have something we like, when we are to celebrate the coming of the new year. Since I'm out in last minute again, I will give you Swedes some tips on what you can find in the shelf selection at Systembolaget. And then some suggestions for the rest of you who might not be restricted by a monopoly. Ok Sweden first:

Raventós i Blanc Brut Nature, is a great classical Cava, and a lot of nice bubbles for your money. 99:- at the monopoly. I love Raventos, and have my self ordered their DeNit that is available in the special ordering section. A very pale rosé that looks like diamonds in the glass. If you are in Penedés any time soon I recommend that you visit the bodega. Raventos is a great place.

For the people who like a crisp citrusy tone like my friend Kajsa does, I recommend Freixenet's classic, Cordon Negro. The first Cava that came in at Systembolaget, and that has stayed on ever since. A classic for 72:-.

 

A third suggestion is a classic from Codorníu. Their Anna de Codorníu is a Chardonnay based Cava and very fresh and fruity with a slight bready finish. I have heard that "Anna" is Spain's most sold Cava around Christmas and new years, and here in Sweden it has also grown very popular. 99:- at the monopoly.

 

For the rest of you not effected by a monopoly:

Anything from the winery Mestres. A very small and high end producer. My favourit at the moment is their Brut nature Vi Sol. A fantastic cava with bready and crisp notes. These Cavas are not the cheapest, but they are well worth the price. Hopefully we will soon find at least one of their products in Sweden, but we'll see towards the spring and see how things go.

My friend Kajsa is also a fan. :-)

Juvé y Camps makes a lot of very nice Cava but right now (and for a while) I have had their Milesimé as a favorite. 100% Chardonnay and very fruity and with a nice bread tone. I have personally allready shared two bottles with the extended family this christmas. It reminds me of sunny days in the Penedès.

 

Last but not least I would suggest Parés Baltà's Blanca Cusiné, that I my self will have as a part of our New Year's dinner.  It is made of  Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and a great flavor of bread, hazelnut, and fruit. And of top of it all it is biologically made.

A very nice family that have found the code of making great wine and cava. And I really look forward to popping the cork on our Blanca Cusiné magnum in a few days.

 

I would of course like to give you so many more suggestions from my favorite producers, but it would be to much. But if you find something from Gramona, Torelló, Llopart, Giro i Giro, Sant Antoni, Collomer, Recaredo, Nadal, Agustí Torelló Mata, Pere Ventura, Mascaró, Vilarnau or Valformosa for example, they have wonderful Cavas and you will never be disappointed. There are so much Cava to try and I can not remember all the Cava. But I miss them all and hope that May will come soon so I can see all my friends in Penedès soon again.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Happy Friday Cava! And today I'm off to Stockholm

Friday again! It is lovely!It has been a great week and now I'm looking forward to a great weekend with my parents and my old friends that are coming over on Saturday. It will all be fantastic! Hope that you have some nice plans too!

But first things first of course! Happy Friday Cava!

Since I'm going too be at my parents this evening I have to take something that I know that they happen to have at home, since I can't be bothered to go to the shop today. And since they just had a birthday dinner I know they have some bottles that they got as presents. :-) I know they got a bottle of Anna De Codorniu, and I have not had a glass of Anna in quite a while, so it will be perfect.

Anna is based on Chardonnay (70%), but is blended with Parellada, Xarel.lo and Macabeu. It is a very nice fresh fruity taste with lots of apples. It is a great Cava and one of the absolute best sellers around the world and in Spain. So if you have not tried it yet I think you should!

HAPPY FRIDAY to you and your loved once!!

Happy friday Cava! The first in March!

Today is the second day of March 2012, and we are coming closer to spring! At least here in Sweden we have now toiled through the worst winter months and look up on march as the first month of spring. Although the snow can stay on all the way in to April if we are unlucky! But today it is Friday and because of this Happy Friday Cava! I have once again picked one of my favourites, and this time it is from the house of Juvé y Camps. At Juvé y Camps they age all there Cavas thoroughly which I like. And today I will celebrate with their Reserva de la Familia. I'm spending the Friday with my family so it is a perfect match. ;-)

The Familia is a brut nature and aged for at least 36 months. It is made on Xarel.lo, Macabeu, Parelada and Chardonnay from the vineyards from around the winery. It is intense and elegant with ripe fruit and toasty notes.

For all you Swedes I have some good news! Reserva de la Familia will most likely be available at the monopoly later this spring/summer, and if we make it a best seller it will come in to the shelf selection at the stores. I'll keep you posted of course!

HAPPY FRIDAY CAVA every one and I hope with all my heart that your weekend will be a great and happy one!

 

 

 

Friday is the day

On Friday I host the first tasting for this year. I am very excited since it is a blind tasting and I have myself not compared these wines before. We will be comparing different sparkling wines made on 100% Chardonnay. Cava and Champagne are of course represented and then we have two less pricey bottles. The cheepest one is about 6 € while the most expensive is about 30 €.

So it will be great to see what the result will be. Which wines will be most popular and why?? I will of course let you know!