Cava de Paraje Calificado - Tasting at the Winery Hotel Stockholm

On Saturday the 26th of May I was invited to attend a tasting arranged by Vinguiden, a swedish company that helps customers to find good wines, through information and education. 

I was extra happy since this tasting was focused on quality cava and the new category Cava de Paraje Calificado which is the real top among cavas. 


CPC-225-cansala-lacapella.jpg

Cava de Paraje Calificado

Or CPC for short, is a new classification that stipulates high set standards both on the vines, the harvest, yields and vinification, everything to create a truly unique cava that represents the soul and heart of the land from which it originates. (If you'd like to know more about the hard facts you can follow the Blue link above.) 
 

Even though CPC was presented and introduced the summer of 2017, there are cavas that already carry the seal of the classification. This is because it is applied retroactivly on all wines that can show that they have met all the criteria that are stipulated for the clarification. 


The tasting was as mentioned focused on both quality cava without the CPC-classification and CPC-cavas. This is what we tried with facts and my comments. 

CPC-Jaume-Heredad-Agusti.jpg

Jaume de Codornìu Gran Reserva 2012

Vintage: 2012
Grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Xarel-lo
Harvest: Manual
Type: Gran Reserva
Style: Brut
Ageing: >40 months
Vineyard: Sagrià/Chardonnay
Conca de Barberà/Pinot noir
Penedès/Xarel-lo
Dosage: 10 gr/L

Comment: I think this cava is very elegant and crisp. Well balanced with the fruity notes of apple, pears and citrus, together with the aged notes of delicate bread. This cava is for those who likes a fruity style but still very crisp and elegant. 


CPC-Jaume-Heredad-Agusti.jpg

Heredad (Segura Viudas)

Vintage: NV
Grapes: Macabeu 67%, Parellada 33%
Harvest: Manual
Type: Reserva
Style: Brut
Ageing: >24 months
Vineyard: Alt Penedès
Dosage: 11 gr/L

Comment: It was a long time since I had the Heredad, and I must admit that I like it very much. It has personality, and among the fruit and delicate aged notes there is a homly taste of rubber that I really like. If you like your cavas a bit more rounded off and full, you might like this one. 


CPC-Jaume-Heredad-Agusti.jpg

Agustí Torelló Mata
Gran Reserva Barrica

Vintage: 2012
Grapes: Macabeu 100%
Harvest: Manual
Type: Gran Reserva
Style: Brut Nature
Ageing: >30 months
Vineyard: Depresión Penedès
Dosage: 0,5 gr/L

Comment: I fell a bit in love with this cava when I first tried it many years ago. The wonderful fruit coming from the macaque with pears and goseberries together with the subtil taste coming from the oak, on which 40% of the base wine has been for eight months. This is a cava to love if your are fond of a bit of those gentle vanilla and roasted cookie flavors. 


CPC-225-cansala-lacapella.jpg

225 (Torelló)


Vintage: 2013
Grapes: Xarel-lo 50%, Macabeu 29%, Parellada 21%
Harvest: Manual
Type: Cava de Paraje Calificado
Style: Brut Nature
Ageing: >36 months
Vineyard: Can Martí
Dosage: 0 gr/L

Comment: This is a truly fantastic cava with tiny bubbles, a fantastic acidity and a fruit that balances great with the extra dimension that the oak gives. This is a bit more power behind the wood than the Agustí Torelló Mata Barrica and hence suites you who likes your cavas powerful and strong. I know I do. 


CPC-225-Cansala-Lacapella2.jpg

Can Sala (Freixenet)

Vintage: 2007
Grapes: Parellada, Xarel-lo
Harvest: Manual
Type: Cava de Paraje Calificado
Style: Brut Nature
Ageing: >108 months (9 years)
Vineyard: Sant Quinti de Medonia
Dosage: 3 gr/L

Comment: This cava is amazing! Sorry to say I think this vintage is out of stock now. It is powerful and stil very vital with fruit but of course lots of aged notes like toast, brioche, marzipan, nuts honey and funny enough a bit of gunpowder. I love love love it!


CPC-Lacapella-close.jpg

La Capella (Juvé y Camps)

Vintage: 2010
Grapes: Xarel-lo 100%
Harvest: Manual
Type: Cava de Paraje Calificado
Style: Brut Nature
Ageing: >87 months
Vineyard: La Capella
Dosage: 2 gr/L

Comment: La Capella is a truly unique creation. Tasting it you can't really believe it being so old as a 2010. It has youth and vibrance in both fruit and acidity and delicate but clear aged notes like toast, mild biscuits like english shortbread and nuts. This cava is a queen in its own sense clearly!


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. :-)

Segura Viudas Brut Rosado

segura viudas This is a real classic that I have recommended to so many people. It used to be available at the Swedish monopoly on the shelf for many years but unfortunately no longer. It has really been one of those cavas I have "fallen back on" and often had some in my cellar "just in case" you know.

It is a very nice, easy rosé that suits most people it seems and it still has character in my opinion. It is made from 90% trepat and 10% garnacha, which makes it fruity, but not in that strawberry/pinot way, if you know what I mean. This fruitiness is more of a cherry, cranberry, raspberry style which I like. The mousse is good and it is an overall nice and likable rosé. Here in Sweden it costs 89:- and you have to order it (nr 7779) at the monopoly. But I think it is definitely worth it, if you what something good but not very complicated for a low price, to just pop when you feel like it.

Cava on swedish web-tv

This weekend I had the chance to participate in a cooking show on UNT web tv. I was there to talk about Cava, since Liselotte (the chef) was making tapas. We had a wonderful time, and the tapas that Liselotte cooked was absolutely wonderful, with one of my favourite tapas, padrones. But also Manchego, marinated olives and patatas con riojos. To this I brought, Segura Viudas Brut Rosé, Recaredo Brut Nature 2007, Anna de Codorniu and Freixenet Reserva Real. All wonderfull Cavas.

You can see the show here.

If you know swedish you can read the article about me, Andréas and the book, that was published in UNT on the 26th of October 2012. Article

annaunt

Cava on the Swedish radio

In January and yesterday we could hear some talk about Cava on the Swedish radio.I'm not always happy with their attitude and sometimes they cant get their facts right. But I'm of course delighted that they recommend Cavas from the monopoly! First out was Lotta Bromé and Carl-Jan Granqvist on the 17th of january, who talked briefly about how you make cava and also gave us two recommendations. Sadly Carl-Jan says that Cava is a "method" of making wine while Champagne is a region... Some people maight missunderstand that.

Here you can listen to the program. If you understand Swedish :-) They recommend: Campo Viejo: nr 7782 at the monopoly for only 69 SEK Segura viudas Brut Rose: nr 7779 at the monopoly only 75 SEK

Then we had Vin i P4 who talked about Cava on the 25th of April (yesterday), with Anna Nilsson as expert. A very nice short program in two parts, and the only thing I have to comment on is that Anna says that you can make Cava anywhere in Spain, and that it is not controlled in the same way as Champagne, which is wrong. But apart from that it is a very nice program indeed.

You can find it here.

The recommend: Malvasia by Freixenet: nr 74222 at the monopoly for 149 SEK Anna de Codorníu Brut (nr 7369) 89 SEK Marqués de Monistrol Brut (nr 7710) 79 SEK

Well worth a listen if you have 10 minutes to spare!

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!!

 

Presentation on the Cava book

It was a great pleasure to present the book in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, and especially on the second day of Cavatast when the energy was up high and everyone was in "Cava mood". I could not be happier with the response and the support from everyone present. And I had the opportunity and privileged to meet so many fantastic Cava lovers.

Getting ready for the presentation that was directly translated by my fantastic friend Maria del Mar, chief of Institut del Cava. It was a challenge for us sine we had to break everything up in short sections.

The fantastic ladies Eva (Vilarnau) and Gloria (Segura Viudas & Freixenet) who have both helped me extremely much. I owe them all my thanks and I was so glad to see them at the release.

Pictures and people during the presentation.

Cava girls that love their bubbles!

I was more than happy to sign books fore everyone who wanted and I met so many nice Cava lovers. All in all a very happy day with lots of new friends and a great many new ideas.

The #Happy_Friday_Cava of the year?

This passed Friday we had the book release, and after coming back to Stockholm on the Friday afternoon, having spent some work days in the south of Sweden, we had quite a lot to do. Luckily the books had arrived at the event location after some trouble with the shipping company, so we at least had something to show. It took longer than we thought to set up the rooms and had to call in friends to help with fixing the refreshments, setting up tables, flowers and everything else. (Thank you so much all of you who helped!! ) But we made it in time and managed to get all the Cava loaded up in the fridge in the bar in time. Four producers, Freixenet, Codorníu, Vilarnau and Recaredo, who all have products available at the special ordering section at monopoly here in Sweden, had most kindly contributed with Cava. I wanted to try to get the guests to try something else that they could easily order to spread their interest a little wider.

When the guests arrived I held a little speech about the book,the ideas and the people I had not been able to do without during the process and what the evening had in store with the Cava available to try and what is special about these houses. Then started the signing of the books, answering questions about the Cava the guests were trying and welcoming more friends and their friends coming late.

During the evening we had about 100 people enjoying fantastic Cava and the response was great! People were so positive and everyone found a favourite among the bubbles. Many guests also admitted that they often buy Cava but do not know much about it, so now they were so happy to be able to learn more. And to my delight quite a lot of guests asked me about good places to stay and visit when going to Penedés, since they thought the pictures we showed during the evening  was so inspiring.

A fantastic evening with so much positive energy that I'm glad to have been able to spread to at least hundred people.

Thank you so much everyone who contributed to a fantastic evening! And thank you Freixinet, Codorníu, Recaredo and Vilarnau for making such fantastic Cava that people just love for their own differences and qualities!

More pictures are coming soon I hope.

A great tapas and Cava evening!

Yesterday I spent some time with my lovely friends, enjoying great tapas and Cava.It is just wonderful and so simple to gather your friends and everyone brings something that they like. Even though we were only five of us, we had; dates with bacon (one of my favourites), pata negra, chorizo, olives, tortilla patata in two versions, manchego, garlic and tomato bred with oil, and some other small snacks. It was fantastic and we had a lovely time bringing up old memories and new, updating each other on what has happen in our lives recently and sharing good stories and plans for the future. It was a great evening and we all agreed that we have to do it all again soon!

Good friends are the best, and I'm so grateful that I know so many fantastic people. Thank you my friends for a lovely lovely evening, I hope that we get together soon again!!!