Textures de Pedra 2013

For a very long time I’ve had plans to write more about specific bottles I find interesting and that I really would like to share with you. That list is growing all the time but I am just not getting it done. Even though I love writing, there are always so many things going on and it just never happens. But now finally I want to tell you about this sparkling wine I tried on the 28th of November. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen this already.

Textures de Pedra is not a cava, even though it is made right smack in the middle of cava country. The producer Raventós i Blanc is a fantastic quality producer of sparkling wine, that is one of many, that some years ago made the choice to leave DO Cava. The family history in this aspect is rather interesting, but I will leave that out here, let’s focus on the wine.

Textures de Pedra 2013 is a real rare blend. A blanc de noir or “blanc de negres”, depending on your choice of language, made with Xarel-lo vermell, Bastard Negre and Sumoll as "focus grapes". This is really cool for any Penedès neard. Why? Because you will never have come across a sparkling blend like this and because the grapes are very special. Bastard Negre I have no relation to whatsoever so I will have to ask Pepe to educate me on this one, but Xarel-lo Vermell and Sumoll are very special. XV for starters is a Xarel-lo that is “reddish”, blushing or a darker kind of the traditional grape (its hard to describe because as I understand it Xarel-lo Vermell is bit of a "shape-shifter". I have for example seen bunches that are half “normal” and half “reddish”. It is all very strange, but it clearly has a distinct likeness with its pale sister. Sumoll on the other hand is a very red grape indeed and not always that likable in my experience. Some younger sumolls I have tried have been rowdy, full of ego but no real substance and rather rough around the edges, basically like some boys in their twenties. The winemaker who wants to get involved with Sumoll really needs to know what he/she is doing because this grape will give you tough love.  But treated right it can be super interesting and delisious.

So, you can imagine my fascination with this blend! Well Pepe and his team definitely know what they are doing, that’s for sure! Here there are no rough edges as far as the eye can see. A truly unique style that I have never tasted before, with nice acidity, fantastic bubbles that linger and a balance between the aged notes and the fruitiness. It is surly a “must try”, and I will try to get my hands on another bottle as soon as I can.

As I wrote on Instagram: this wine really makes me realize how much I have missed Raventòs I Blanc! I have not been there since before 2014 now, because it was definitely before the kids came. But this summer I’ll do something about it and I promise I’ll write a post about it with lots of pictures.

If you want technical details about Textures de Pedra 2013 you will find them here: www.raventos.com

Cava Tips for the Finish market!

Sweden and Finland have many things in common. Lots of Cava fans and a Monopoly on alcohol are two of them. For you not living with a monopoly like we are, I can tell you that it is a strange thing... but like all other things it has both good and bad sides. Some time ago I got the question from a finish cava lover what tips I had when he was going to order cava at Alko (the monopoly in Finland). Now it struck me that there are of course more Finish cava fans out there that might like to get these. So here is what I recommended.

-Anything from the house Gramona, who is a terrific producer. -

Segura viudas Heredad, is a lovely Gran Reserva worth a try. -Recaredo is always a safe bet with wonderful 100% ecological cavas. - Raventós i Blanc is also a fantastic producer, altough no longer within the DO Cava. -Freixenet Elyssia, both blanc and rosé are nice creations.

-Albet i Noya have also left DO Cava, but make lovely things all the same.
-Mont Marcall is also a good producer, with a good range normally.
-Pere Ventura has a great design that is loved by many, and so is their cavas.
-Juv'e y Camps makes good things straigt through their portfolio, although Cinta Purpura is their base line.
For you who can read swedish I have left the exact and mor detailed ansver below.

Happy Friday everyone!! 

Ni har ju på Alko något annorlunda sortiment än vad vi har på vårt monopol i Sverige, men många av husen som finns att tillgå på Alko känner jag väl till och många är goda vänner till mig, men jag har inte testat dem alla som finns på Alko.
 
Rent allmänt vill jag säga detta om några av dem:
-Gramona är ett mycket kvalitétsorienterat hus, som nu håller på att konvertera alla sina odlingar till biodynamiska. Deras Imperial, som finns på Alko är deras "signatur" cava och en av mina långvariga "go to" cavor.
-Segura viudas är ett hus som ägs av Freixenet, men som drivs helt separat och har gamla anor. De har guldkorn i sin portfölj och Heredad är väl värd att testa. Flaskan brukar också imponera på många. :-)
-Recaredo är också ett "kvalitéts hus" och odlar helt enligt den Biodynamiska läran. Allt de gör är av hög kvalité. Deras "top cava" Turó D'en Mota är mycket speciell och motbevisar alla som säger att cava inte går att lagras. Du kan läsa mer om den på min Blog om du har intresse. http://annawallner.se/2015/11/29/turo-den-mota-maybe-the-best-cava-ive-ever-had/
-Raventós är formellt sett inte längre Cava då de lämnade DO Cava 2012. Men den görs på exakt samma sätt, ligger granne med Codorniu och drivs av samma familj som startade och drev Codorniú fram tills det bolagiserades. Generellt gör Raventós mycket bra grejer och deras De Nit har länge varit en av mina sommar-rosé-favoriter. Men självklart varierar årgångarna.
-Freixenet är ju för många synonymt med cava och ofta billig cava. Säga vad man vill så är det otroligt att de kan producera så kvalitetskonstanta produkter i sådana mängder, år efter år. Sedan kan man ju ha en åsikt om stilen såklart. Men även Freixenet gör guldkorn. Elyssia är en sådan enligt mig. För ovanlighetens skull baserad på chardonnay, för Freixenet är annars väldigt inriktade på traditionell stil. Elyssia är frisk, fruktig och ett bra alternativ om man vill testa något annat än den "svarta flaskan".
-La vida Al Camp är faktiskt producerad av Raventós. Det är den enda de producerar under DO Cava och det har väckt mycket debatt bland cavaproducenterna. "Antingen lämnar man eller så är man kvar under DO Cava" är det många som tycker. Deras första La vida al camp var "vit" och en mycket bra bascava. Jag har inte testat deras rosé, men utgår från att även denna borde hålla måttet vad gäller kvalité kontra pris.
-Albet i Noya har likt Raventós lämnat DO Cava och producerar under DO Penedés, men åter igen är det samma område, druvor, metoder osv. Även Albet i Noya är biodynamiska. De gör trevliga grejer över lag även om jag personligen inte tycker att de kommer upp i samma kvalité som Recaredo och Gramona.
-Mont Marcal gör välgjorda och vanligen lättdruckna cavor i alla stilar. De som finns på Alko är inte de mest komplexa i deras portfölj, men helt klart välgjorda.
-Pere Ventura gör även han bra grejer och just hans Roséer brukar vara av en mycket tydlig "medelhavsstil" dvs mycket fruktiga och intensivt röda, vilket som du vet skiljer sig mycket from champagnes bleka laxrosa varianter. Jag gillar båda stilar, bara de är välgjorda.
-Juvé y Camps är också ett hus som gör mycket bra grejer, dessvärre verkar ni bara få deras basvariant Cinta Purpura och dessutom i en söt variant... kanske inte något du kör i första provningen. :-)

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!!

 

 

CavaTV london episode is up!

Hi dear bubble lovers! If you are not following me on twitter, instagram or Facebook, you might have missed that the new CavaTV episode is up. This time I have been to London with my girls! I bought som cava at Marks & Spencer´s, and if you want to find out how it was you can click here!

IMG_2600 Starting out with lunch at Ponit's italian kitchen! Really nice food and so good with a glass of wine to start off the "girls weekend"!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On our way to Camino and Copa the cava and of course I have my wonderful Wearing memories ring with me, and this time a cap from Raventós i Blanc's De Nit, which is one of my many favorites. IMG_2616

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So great to finally visit Copa de Cava and Camino. It was a really great night with fantastic food and cava from Gramona.

 

 

 

 

IMG_2621Richard who owns and runs Copa the cava took the time to see us and treated us to a couple of glasses of cava before dinner. Great to chitchat with another cava lover. IMG_2654

 

 

 

I also had the time to take a walk in Hyde Park. I have always loved these kind of english benches with inscriptions on the back. i think I have to buy one for our garden at home. IMG_2660

 

 

This gang was out riding their bikes all dressed up in tweed. Apparently they were a part of the annual "tweed run". Personally I LOVE tweed and thought this was a great idea!IMG_2675

 

 

 

At the afternoon tea we went to they had wonderful marmalade with short captions on the inside of the lids. It made us all so happy. So all in all a great weekend with shopping, food, wine, cava, great friends and fantastic weather! We will do it soon again!

The book is on the way to print!

My goodness!Even though it was less than two years ago we did the first book I had forgotten how much back and forth mailing it was at the end. Now the second book is finally ready it seems, and is sent to print. We are so excited both me and Andréas. Especially about the fact that we have been able to write about the things we love about Barcelona and Penedès.

We have also had the great opportunity to present 19 producers, and we hope that this will make consumers in Sweden more interested in the area, cavas and the people who make them.

As always we have tried to be as personal as possible. :-)

I cant give you the entire inside of the book but this below is the intro to the chapter about the producers. I'll let you know when it is available in the stores.

Sunny and bubbly regards!

producers

Wedding plans? Here are some tips on bubbles!

Getting married is the best thing I have ever done! I could not be happier or wish for anything more. Appart from more Cava in the cellar perhaps. ;-) If you are in the wedding planing mode right now, I just have one thing to say; Congratulations! Even though it is much to plan and things to decide and you probably feel totally overwelmed with all the choices there are out there, it is still a one in a life time thing. (lets hope) And it is just wonderfull that you found that special one that you want to share the rest of your life with and that this person feels the same about you. Not everyone is that lucky you know. 

When I got married we wanted bubbles through the entire dinner, and so we had. I'm not saying that this is the natural choice fot you, but most couples whants to raise their glasses at some point during the day and say cheers, and very often you want just bubbles in your glass when you do that.

So here are some tips from me to you on some nice afordable Cava that will give your wedding that extra sparkle!

If you like pink and those fruity notes. Then I absolutely recommend you to try Vilarnau´s brut Rosé. It is bright pink, with an obondence of red berries in the nose and mainly fresh strawberries and rasberries as dominating tastes, with nice small boubbles. I have recommended this to many weddings passed and everyone has been so happy with it. Grapes: 90% trepat and 10% pinot noir. Price in sweden: around 11 Euros* You can find more information about it here!

 

de nitIf you want pink but abit more descrete. Then I would sugest Raventós i Blancs De Nit. A lovely, very elegant Cava that is just slightly pink, not even "salmon coloured" I would say. It is fruity but more crisp and subtle in its caracter and would suit anyone who would like elegance above all else, but still a bubbly with those fresh and fruity notes. You will find more about De Nit here. Grapes: 43% Macabeu, 33% Xarel·lo, 19% Parellada, 5% Monastrell

Price in sweden: Around  16 Euros*

 

If you want something pale and classic but in a trendy packeging. Pere Ventura is a very modern producer when it comes to lables and packeging, and I love it! Their Cavas is of the clasical stile though with alot of Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel.lo: I love their cavas but here I want to recommend their Brut nature Tresor abit extra. It is a pale, crisp Cava with fruity notes and hints of honey that comes from the aging. An elegant Cava for any wedding. Grapes: 40% Xarel.lo, 40% macabeu, 20% Parellada. Price in sweden: Around 14 Euros If you want to read more about Pere Ventura or Tresor you will find them here. 

 

 

 

*remember that Sweden is a high tax country and that you might find them to an other price where you live.

 

 

 

 

Sabering is always fun, ecpesially at a wedding! Here my husband Andreas does it perfectly!

New Cava at the Raventós i blanc family

Last October we had the pleasure to stay some nights at the producer Raventós i Blanc. Any of you following the blog also know that their De Nit is one of my favourites right now.IMG_0734

We had a lovely time there, and walking the vineyards in the misty morning is more beautiful than words can explain. Today I got some wonderful news in my mail box. Raventós is releasing a new Cava  on the 5th of June. The new vintage de la Finca 2009.

The team at Raventós describes it with these words: "This is a sparkling wine that finishes the philosophy that we started years ago when Pepe began to be the head of the winemaking and winegrowing in Raventós i Blanc, after 20 generations working in the same Estate, since 1497. We have dedicated all our efforts to this new de la Finca 2009 during the past 7 years, taking care of all the details: from the viticulture of bio – synergies that we apply in this 9 historic parcels dedicated to de la Finca, to its new presentation: simple and elegant."

I must admit that I'm excited about trying it when I visit Penedés in September.

If you want to read more about what is going on at the winery, I can recommend that you follow them on Facebook or Twitter where they are very active. Or you can of course visit their website.

www.raventos.com http://raventos.com/blog   http://facebook.com/raventosiblanc   http://twitter.com/raventosiblanc

afternoonsnack

Looking back at 2012 part two

After May and the fantastic trip we had, it was back to work and at the same time finishing up the book. During the summer we did manage to have some wonderful cava moments and many of them were out sailing.

To finish up the book was very hard work but we made it and at the end of August the book came finally from the printer. And we had a great book release in Uppsala.

We presented some of the producers that we have learned to know, and the guests got information about them and an opportunity to try some great cava available in Sweden.

During the later parts of the summer the cavabook and cava in general was seen in Swedish press.

The spanish wine day in Stockholm took place in the middle of september. I had the opportunity to host a tasting with 35 happy wine lovers. And they got the chance to try cavas from Marques de Monistrol, Juvé y Camps, Mestres and Gramona, everything very happily received by the participants. And I was so glad to be able to talk about cava, and spread the word.

Josep from Mestres came up to visit Alambic, and I hope that we will soon see some of their cavas here in sweden.

Then in October it was time for Cava tast and the presentation of the book in Sant Sadurní!

Cava tast grand opening!Last preparation before the presentation. I was so happy and moved that so many showed up and that people were so involved in my project. It was truly a fantastic experience.  

the girls liked the book!

Then we got ready for cava tast in the evening with wonderful cava and the opportunity to meet this years cava queen. A fantastic evening with our friends!

We were also so extremely lucky to be invited to stay at Raventós i Blanc, and they took so good care of us, so we wish that we could move there! We feel truly honored to have such friends. And of course we hope to be able to come back. :-)

We cooked on the BBQ outside, almost every day and could enjoy the fantastic cava the house makes. De Nit, the pale rosé made by Ravenós i Blanc is truly one of my favorites. But we managed to try most of their portfolio and I'm very glad that we do get some of their great cavas in Sweden.

 

 

 

 

One day we took a trip in to Barcelona to visit Quim in the Boqueira, and to leave him a book as promised. And I had the chance to have my favorite on the menu; caramelized foi. We just love El Quim and really long for coming back to have lunch again.

The 13th of October Andréas had his birthday and we went to Florian and Veronica at Cal ruget so have some dinner. And they had made it so nice that we could not have wished fore anything better! and they had bought Andréas a cake!

The day after Andréas had to go home and I moved in with my dear friends Rosó and Partic. And we started to visit Colomer where we had a fantastic time!

The big event after Andréas had left was the tasting Recaredo held for the anniversary of Reserva Particular. A fantastic event with old  vintages of exceptional quality.

After the amazing tasting we got equally amazing food in the winery. El Cellar de Can Roca made the food and it was amazing to say the least!

I visited Valformosa on a very sunny morning and had a wonderful tour with Angel, who showed me around. And I also had the chance to try a wide ranch of their great cavas.

 

 

 

Me and my wonderful hosts also visited Marues de Gelida and tried one of their bio cavas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I also went to se Toni at Torelló, on the way towards Gelida. And I really do not understand why I have not visited them before. I had a great time there and Toni showed me the production and told me about the family history which was extremely interesting. Next time I'll bring Andréas along.  Toni also showed me a fantastic new press that I had not seen before. A way of filling the press with gas (I don't remember which one) so the grapes has no way to oxidize. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I came home and started working again, I fond Vilarnau Cava when I was flying from a very small airport in sweden. I was very surprised but very happy! Cava is spreading!

 

 

Then The Swedish book came! And now the work is done. English and Swedish version done and printed, and now will will see what happens.

In november I also found out that I had been picked out  among all swedish wine books this year as the "best wine book in the world (Except france)" in the Gourmand cook book awards, and now I have made it to the final in February. It is me against 4 outer books. So now I cross my fingers!

At the end of the year we needed to get all our books and papers ready for the tax office and to make it a bit more fun we found a Cordon negro in the fridge! Jiipii!

 

 

 

 

And just before christmas I read in the biggest swedish daily paper that Raventós i Blanc's brut nature was recommended with 6 out of 6 points, which indicates "a bargain" in that papers terms. I was so happy for my friends at Raventós and for all cava lovers!

 

 

 

Then New years eve came and we had a great dinner with our frineds at our house with lots of great cava. A fantastic way to end 2012!

 

I have probably forgot many wonderful things that happend this year. But I have such a mess among my photos, and I do know that many are missing. But I think I got most of it.

 

Now I just want to wish you all a fantastic 2013, and I hope that it will be a great one with a nice harvest and a lot of new chances to explore new cavas and meet new producers and cava lovers!

Happy New Year!!