Nya stjärnor på systembolaget

Vi får fler och fler bra cavor att välja bland även här i sverige. De senaste tillskotten på bolaget kommer från ett av Penedès bästa cavahus, Torelló. Jag har länge saknat dem och nu finns åtminstone två av representanter ur husets portfölj att beställa via beställningssortimentet. Dessvärre endast i kolli om 6 flaskor, men de kommer till ett så bra pris att jag inte ser det som ett problem. FullSizeRender-2 Torelló Special Edition nr 77806

Denna cava kallas ofta för "Barcelona edition", då flaskans heltäckande dekor är helt inspirerad av den katalanska huvudstaden, med bland annat landmärken som Sagrada Familia. Det är en traditionell blandning av Xarel.lo, Macabeu och Parellada, lagrad minimum 24 månader och smakar just som en välgjord traditionell cava skall smaka. Helt ärligt har jag rekommenderat denna till allt från "mingelbubbel", till skaldjurstallrikar och som "gå-borts-pressent". Den är otroligt gångbar och jag har inte träffat någon som inte gillat den. Inte helt snustorr, då det är en "brut", och med frisk smak, samt både lagrade toner och ungdomlig frukt kvar i smaken. Jag skulle kunna ge en intrikat beskrivning av honung, vita blommor, persika och allsköns aromer som kan beskriva denna cava, men helt ärligt tycker jag det blir lite långtråkigt att läsa alla dessa vinbeskrivningar. Jag begränsar mig till att säga att den är SUPER, ordentligt med "pang för pengarna" helt enkelt! Testa får du se!

Torelló Pàl-Lid Brut Rosé Reserva nr 77834

Detta är en av husets nyaste tillskott och är underbart lätt, frisk och fräsch. Till skillnad från husets traditionella rosé som är djupt rosa är denna ljust laxrosa, och namnet Pàl-Lid betyder just blek på katalan. Den är som moderna roséviner gjord på Pinot noir och smakar där efter med röda bär i förgrunden. Härligt fruktig och lätt, men även med karaktär som den fått från sina (minst) 18 månaders lagring på flaska. Det blir inte mer passande än så här till sommaren. Jag tror att få roséfantaster kommer att bli besvikna på denna, eller ha problem med att det är kollikrav på minst sex flaskor vid beställning.

Jag kan VARMT rekommendera båda dessa cavor från ett av mina absoluta favorithus. 

Är du  på väg ned till Barcelona på semester? Då tycker jag att du skall besöka Torelló, för det är ett helt fantastiskt cavahus.

Vill du läsa mer om cavahuset Torelló så finner du information här:

http://www.torello.com

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

Three Rosés for the summer!

This week´s CavaTV episode is out and I promised to write about the cavas in more detail here. So here we go! ElyssiaFreixenet Elyssia pinot noir Grapes: Pinot noir 85% Trepat 15% Code at Systembolaget: 77151 Price: 173 SEK Ageing: >18 months Dosage:9 gr/l Red fruits in the nose like rassberry and blackberry. Nice bubbles and texture with lingering fruits in the aftertaste. Pairs well with abit spicier tapas like spicy rosted almonds, smoked shrimps and olives.

MascaroMascaró Rubor Aurorae Price: About 12 USD Ageing: >12 months Dosage: 6 gr/l Cherries and strawberries in the nose that stays also in the mouth with a elegant and subtle aftertaste. The acidity is refreshing and the bubbles creamy. A very elegant cava that is great as an apperitiff, but that is well suited to tapas and food like really good and nutty jamon, rosted nuts and great big green olives.

MassuauFerrer i Catassús's Mas Suau Grapes: Trepat and Monastrell Code at Systembolaget: 77148 Price: 121 SEK Ageing: >18 months Dosage: ? Lots of intense red fruits, rasberries, strawberries and red current. A soft mouse and nice acidity with the fruits lingering in the aftertaste. Pairs well with more flavour intense tapas like smoked gambas, chorizo and well matured manchego.

 

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!

 

Tursday = international women's day

On March the 8th every year we celebrate the international women's day!And it makes me think about what a great life I have, and that not everyone is as lucky. There are women that are not allowed to go to school, vote, drive a car, or even go out on the street without a male relative. It makes me sick just to think of it.

So on Thursday, how trivial it all sounds, I will donate some extra money to breast cancer research and open a bottle of Cava and toast to all those strong women that are fighting for their rights around the world!

And what is a more perfect Cava to celebrate with, then Gramona's Pinot noir that they have made especially to support breast cancer research!?  But if you cant find that particular one, just make sure you celebrate!

Pink bubbles for Valentines Day

It is a lot of discussions about what to drink on Valentines day and many of us seems to be very focused on Pink bubbles. I like the idea and just say Go ahead!Personally I'm going to drink my pink bubbles tonight and probably "normal" bubbles tomorrow. But we will see.

I just wanted to give you some Cava inspiration when it comes to pink bubbles. But since I have no idea what brands and bottles that are available where just YOU are, I'll just go crazy and recommend some that I just like. And this is no ranking, just nice Cavas!

  • Juvé y Camps rosé, made from Pinot noir.
  • Segura Viudas rosado, made from Trepat and 10% Granacha.
  • Pere Ventura brut rosé, made from Trepat.
  • Mont Marcal brut rosé, made from Trepat.
  • Freixenet Cordon rosado, made from 70 % Trepat and 30 % Granacha
  • Freixenet Elyssia rosé, 85 % Pinot noir, 15 % Trepat
  • Codorniu Pinot noir rosé, 100% Pinot noir
  • Gramona Rosé, 100% Pinot rosé
  • Vilarnau Rosé,  90 % Trepat and 10% Pinot noir

 

 

Pinot Noir

The last variety allowed for the production of cava that we have to go through is Pinot Noir Pinot Noir blooms early in the spring and is accordingly, like chardonnay, sensitive to frost. Its bunches are compact with small dark blue grapes. Pinot noir produces the best results in cooler climates where it gives grapes a nice acidity.  For this reason, some producers have started test-plantings of pinot noir at higher altitudes which has partly to do with global warming. Pinot noir is not one of the traditional Cava grapes but was approved for the production of rosé Cava in 1998 and it was only as late as the 2007 harvest that Pinot noir was allowed for production of white Cava. Since then Pinot noir has experienced an increasing popularity and many houses now make both rosé and white Cavas from the grape to the consumers’ delight.

It is not difficult to find a Cava made on pinot noir, since the grape had become so popular. Both the large houses of Freixenet and Codorniu make Rosés on the grape. Freixenet has their Elyssia while Codorniu has their Anna de Codorniu Rosé and their Codorniu Pinot noir Brut.

 

 

 

 

The house of Juvé y Camps has both their Brut rosé and their fairly new Blanc de Noirs that are both very nice indeed. What is interesting is that the rules for making a blanc de noirs is quite different form the rules in Champagne where you need to use 100% black grapes. For Cava it is only 85 or 75 percent (I don't remember exactly, but I'll check it) black rapes needed. Then you can fill up with white grapes.

 

One of the things that makes cava different

One of the many things I like with cava is the grapes. Because here we come across some interesting grapes that are not widely used. There are nine grape varieties allowed for the production of cava, five green and four blue. The green grapes are; Parellada, Xarel-lo, Macabeu, Malvasia (Subirat parent) and Chardonnay. The blue are; Red Garnacha, Monastrell, Trepat and Pinot Noir.

Since I started my cava project, with the book writing and all, I often get questions about the grapes, so I thought I'd make it a bit clear with a series of blogposts that will be easy for you to go back to if you need this info ever again. Because the use of grapes is one of the things that makes cava so diverse and different.  So here we go!