Consider Cava

23rd May 2017


In the ancestry of sparkling wine; let’s consider Cava, Champagne’s distant cousin.

Cava is made by the traditional method, the same as Champagne and spends at least nine months on its lees. Most Cava is non-vintage with lower acidity than Champagne. The Spanish grapes used to make Cava are Macabeu, Xarel-lo, and Parellada for the whites and Monastrell and Garnacha for the rosés. Also permitted are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which add both fruit and acidity. Cava offers a friendly and easy-drinking style with a bit smokier character against Champagne’s more yeasty style.

DO Cava covers many geographic areas in Spain, but the majority are made around the town of Sant Saduri d’Anoia in the Catalan vineyards. The quality is high but the price is not. Many an expert has been fooled in blind tastings thinking a Cava was from France. Consider a Cava for your next glass of bubbly. Here are a few of my favorites:

Bodegas Naveran Brut 2010
Rye toast, citrus, honeysuckle on the nose with a vibrant mousse. Crisp, full-bodied, citrus, apple and pie crust on the palate and a bit of ginger on the long finish. Made with traditional grapes, 50% Xarel-lo, 30% Macabeu, 20% Parellada and aged 18 months on lees. It’s unusual to see vintage Cava and this is a great example of how close Cava can taste like Champagne.

Princesa Brut Nature
Another favorite of mine! A fresh, clean nose of tangerine and apricot with small vigorous bubbles. The palate is bone dry, zero dosage, but balanced with lush fruit, orange and peach with medium acidity. The finish is clean with a hint of lime. This Cava has been compared to Taittinger NV but at a third the price. Because of the ‘brut nature’, this Cava is bone dry so if you like a hint of sweet, serve it with fresh fruit or orange roasted chicken.

Juvé y Camps Brut Rosé
Beautiful salmon color with energetic bubbles. The nose is brimming with floral and strawberry fruit. The palate is dry, round and rich with some spice, toasted nut, red apple and honey. This Cava is a creamier style, similar to Cremant and is a perfect paired with salmon paté, ham or strawberry sorbet. 100% Pinot Noir.

Glass of Bubbly

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