Spanish cava is very much in fashion these days. In fact, it is the best selling sparkling wine in the world after French champagne. Exports have almost tripled in the last ten years ago. Its quality is supported by a guaranteed denomination, which is issued only by the Cava Regulatory Board. Currently, there are over 250 wineries producing these precious wines, which are attracting a growing international clientele for their enormous prestige and presence. These are some of the best:
Codorníu Pinot Noir Brut
WINERY: Codorníu // AREA: San Sadurní Noya, Barcelona
GRAPES: pinot noir // DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN: Cava
Bodegas Codorníu, with large reserves of pinot noir grapes, produces an unusually daring pink cava: elegant and bold brut with a beautiful pale cherry color and intense aroma of red fruits and citrus, fresh and vivacious. The raspberry, blackberry and strawberry aromas are joined by a very slight citrus flavor that brings a touch of freshness. All the grapes used to produce Codorníu Pinot Noir come from their own vineyards.
Tantum Ergo Vintage ’07 Brut Nature
WINERY: Hispano Suizas // AREA: Utiel-Requena, Valencia
GRAPES: pinot noir and chardonnay (blanc de noir) // DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN: Cava
This cava is made only when the grape quality is optimal, selecting the best grapes from low yielding vines and harvesting in the mornings to keep the fruit at the correct temperature until it reaches the winery. With a lemony gold color, its aroma is highly intense, complex and elegant, with hints of ripe fruit and nuts and a background of vanilla and butter. In the mouth, the wine’s elegant creaminess stands out with a very long and intense finish of balanced acidity.
Gramona Celler Batlle 2004
WINERY: Gramona // AREA: San Sadurní Noya, Barcelona
GRAPES: Macabeo and xarel-lo // DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN: Cava
This cava is characterized by its careful selection and processing. It has a bright straw yellow color with golden reflections. Close to the nose, one can detect the white fruit and herbal notes mixing with the aging notes of pine, oak moss, vanilla, pastry, custard, nuts, toffee, praline and dried apricots. In the mouth, it is very expressive, tasty and delicate, with a creamy texture, excellent acidity and lingering finish with hints of fruit.
Kripta Brut Nature 2007
WINERY: Agustí Torelló Mata // AREA: Sant Sadurní de Noya
GRAPES: macabeo, xarel-lo and parellada // DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN: Cava
An exceptional cava such as Kripta, with limited and numbered production, had to have a unique bottle reminiscent of a Roman amphora, and a label designed by an artist such as Rafael Bartolozzi. With a straw yellow color and golden reflections, it has a sweet aroma, with creamy notes of ripe fruit, vanilla, soft toasted hints and a balsamic and smoky background. In the mouth, it is refined and elegant, highlighting the silkiness of the froth with back notes of vanilla, ripe fruit, toast and truffle. It has a lingering and complex finish, where the aromas and flavors of vanilla and toasted butter remind us of its long aging process. ■