#newwinethisweek Week 25 – Cava, Spain

Mike has decided it’s another fizz-tastic week on #newwinethisweek…. It may or may not have something to do with the fact he’s off to Barcelona at the weekend, but whatever the reason, this week we’re going Cava crazy!

http://pleasebringmemywine.com/2014/06/24/nwtw-week-25-cava/

I used to think Cava was a cheap imitation of Champagne until I visited Freixenet in Sant Sadurni, a 30 minute train ride from Barcelona. Before the visit I was dismissive of the Spanish fizz, but I came away from the experience with huge respect and a new-found love.

The beautiful entrance to Freixenet in Sant Sadurni

The beautiful entrance to Freixenet in Sant Sadurni

Cava can only be labelled so if it produced in the méthode traditionnelle (Método Tradicional in Spanish), the same process used for making Champagne, where yeast and sugar is added to a base wine, then undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle. Xarel.lo, Macabeu and Parellada are the principle grapes used to make Cava, although Subirat, Chardaonnay and Pinot Noir are also allowed, along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha and Monastrell, which can be added to the base wine in the production of rose.

Bubbles

Although Cava is a recognised Denominación de Origen (DO), the DO is actually of collection of wine regions. 95% of the production comes from Penedes in Catalonia, the remainder coming from Aragon, the Basque Country, Castile and León, Catalonia, Extremadura, Navarra, Rioja and Valencia.

map-of-cava

As well as being a fabulous tipple, Cava is often great value for money. There is some rubbish on the supermarket shelves no doubt, but spend a tenner and you will really start to appreciate what Cava has to offer. I hope that this week changes a few preconceptions and that many of you find a new respect for this fabulous wine.

I am very excited about a visit to Copa de Cava with Mike next week, the UK’s first dedicated Cava bar showcasing 29 of the most exceptional Cavas from Spain… bring it on! If you can’t make it to Copa de Cava then check out one of these readily available bottles:

Tesco Cava Brut Sparkling NV (Tesco £5.00) I’ve read some very positive reviews!

Freixenet Vintage Especial Cava 2012 (Tesco £7.49)

Waitrose Cava Brut, Castillo Perelada NV (Waitrose £9.39)

M&S Vintage Cava 2010 (M&S £13.99)

The Society’s Cava Reserve Brut (The Wine Society £8.50)

Cava Conde de Haro Brut (The Wine Society £12.50)

 

All that’s left for you to do is to buy a bottle, get it well chilled and enjoy the bubbles. The voting will take place on Mike’s blog this week so get stuck in and tell us what you think of Cava… how will it match up to Cremant and English Fizz on the #newwinethisweek leaderboard?

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on June 24, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. If you’ve been following #NWTW then you’ll be well aware of my love for a takeaway on a Friday night… so another bubbly number this week made the decision and easy one… KFC! I wrote a piece about what to eat with KFC a while back and bubbles is the perfect partner. I suppose you could go for croquettas and be proper Spanish, but that ain’t my style!

    We had 3 bottles to get through (there were 4 of us!) and we started with the Freixenet Vintage Especial Cava 2012, half price at Tesco £7.49. The truth is that £7.49 is a very good price for the wine but half price is definitely pushing it. There is some citrus fruit, a bit of apple and a delightful bready-ness from the (short) time the wine has spent on its lees in the bottle (6/10).

    The second bottle was The Society’s Cava Reserve Brut (The Wine Society £8.50), which shared a very similar flavour profile to the Freixenet wine but with more emphasis on the fruit and a more refined elegant yeasty note (30 months on the lees apparently). This is a steal at £8.50 (7.5/10).

    Finally we opened a bottle of Finest Cava 2010 (Tesco £6.99 reduced from £8.99). Now Mike talked about rubber being a scent associated with Cava and this wine had a definitely hit of carpet underlay! The smell wasn’t particularly appealing but the wine itself was pretty decent. Again there is plenty of apple and lemon and that very noticeable pastry note, but the Finest has a creamy texture (from the bit of Chardonnay perhaps?) and is a very nice bottle of wine (7/10).

    Cava really is fantastic value at under £10 and I do wonder when the Prosecco brigade will discover there is more complexity and enjoyment available at this price point.

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