50 great cavas Taste & Retail Guide


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The Cava Taste and Retail Guide annually edited by Winepleasures - Opening taste and palate recommendation for sparkling wine from Spain. www.winepleasures.com/50-great-cavas/

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50 great cavas Taste & Retail Guide

  1. 1. 50Great Cavas
  2. 2. 1 2 Introduction Dear cava lover!Introduction It is my great pleasure to present you to the second edition of 50 Great Cavas winery philosophy, grape varieties, loca- tion and wine tourism options. The ma- book. This annual publication reflects jority of the wineries were visited by our the history of cava, outlines how cava is wine blogging team to bring you an ac- made, clarifies the different cava styles, curate and objective first hand review of spotlights successful regions and recog- each one. We hope you find them inter-Meet the judges nizes outstanding producers. In 2012, four experienced wine tasters reviewed esting and useful, particularly if you plan a wine tasting tour to one of the various cavas from around Spain in blind tastings cava regions around Spain. over 2 days. We looked at body, colour, clarity and bubbles. We tasted for acid- There are many people to thank for their ity, mouth-feel and mousse, finish, bal- contribution in putting together this uniqueHistory of cava ance, sweetness and overall flavour. We searched deep for primary and secondary publication. I would like to mention our Tasting Manager (and cava lover!), Toms aromas and bouquet. Šķēle who ensured that the blind tastings were undertaken in optimum conditions. Cavas were classified and tasted accord- ing to dosage and ageing time on the We hope that you enjoy this list of excitingMaking of cava lees: Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut (non vintage, reserva and gran reserva) and values, emerging stars, cavas to visit and time-honored stalwarts and that our 50 Rosado. After much debate, 50 of these Great Cavas of 2012 leads you to more earned a place in this publication. deeply explore the world of cava both at home or when in Spain! While the average score is an impressive Cava grapes 87 points, almost half of the cavas scored more than 90 points which made them Anthony Swift not just Great but outstanding! Average Director 50 Great Cavas 2012 retail price per bottle is also an interesting figure – just 6 – 15 Euros which makes cava unbeatable in terms of price-quality. But that’s not all! We have also compiled a one page article on most of the partici- pating wineries covering family history, www.winepleasures.com
  3. 3. 3 4 Meet the Judges Meet the JudgesJuan Manuel Gonzalvo Helena Centerwall Anthony Swift Alise ZarinaBorn in Zaragoza, Spain, Juan is a qualified enol- A native of Sweden, Helena lived most of her The General Manager and founder of Wine Pleas- A free-lance journalist since the age fifteen. Inogist. Between 1996 and 2002, he has worked adult life in California where she started the first ures; he is a blogger on wine, food and travel 2010 her first book was published and currentlyas a wine maker in the Spanish Designations of Los Angeles based Wine Tour business, Grand for online publications, a resident in the Cava – she is working on her screenplays. Author of aOrigen of Somontano, Cariñena & Calatayud. Crus Wine Tours, specializing in Southern Cali- Penedès wine region for 15 years and is the ma number of short films and director of several mu- fornia’s wine regions such as Santa Barbara and termind behind the 50 Great Cava project. sic videos, Alise is all about capturing unforgeta-Since then Juan Manuel has been a consultant the Central Coast. In addition she opened a wine ble moments.helping many Spanish wineries with tasks such school in Los Angeles and is a partner in a win- His favorite social drink is, of course, Cava Brutas blending, barrel choosing, quality control, ery in Napa Valley, Sjoeblom Winery, producing Nature Reserva! Originally from Latvia, she has spent three yearsexport… When he’s not at a winery he can be sparkling wine. in France, studying advertising and more recent-found leading wine tastings, giving courses and ly attended a sound and image course at an artjudging wine competitions. Today he is: Tech- In 2010 Helena moved to Penedés, the wine school in Portugal. Passionate about southernnical Director for Catavins Sabadell, Consultant region famous for its cava production, where she culture, Mediterranean Cuisine, and of course,and Buyer for Uvinum, Wine maker at Vinicom, started up Ca Solyerik, a wine oriented Bed & wine, Alise is now exploring Spain and discover-Wine –making consultant for Castellroig & Mas Breakfast, and is teaching wine classes as well ing the world of cava. Her preferred cava is Brutde la Caçadora. as wine trade English. She also writes a wine Nature Reserva. blog www.barcelona-wine.com.Juan Manuel is considered an expert in Spanishwine – tasting. He tastes and evaluates around2,000 wines a year and shares his tasting notesextensively on the social media channels. www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com
  4. 4. 5 6 History of cava The making of cavaCava origins The Creation of cavaThe creation of cava is closely tied to the history of the tead of using the traditional grapes varieties found in the Cava is the Spanish word for cellar and has links back to the lateCatalan region. With Champagne taking off in France dur- Champagne region, local families turned to their own in- 19th century within the Catalan region of Spain. Today the wineing the 19th century, viticulturists and winemakers from digenous grapes. Thus, the distinct rich flavor was born has evolved into amulti-billion dollar industry that spans all cor-the Catalan region followed in the footsteps of their north- and cava began its journey as one of the most popular ners of the globe. The wine is produced in 160 municipalitiesern neighbors and produced a sparkling wine called cava. drinks around the world. Cava is unique in production; it from across all over Spain, though the majority of production is can be made across Spain in 160 municipalities ranging made in the Penedes region of Barcelona. Cava is produced inDuring the 1980´s, cava became a protected name, from Valencia to Extremadura. the same style as Champagne, through the traditional methodlike Champagne or Prosciutto di Parma. The name has which is adopted throughout the world. Cava is made by a rangea range of meanings, adopted from the Spanish word for It is worth emphasizing that the majority of the produc- of grapes, with the major varietals including;cellar and it has links with Latin, describing a cave. The tion comes from the Catalan region, most notably from • Macabeo – Providing the acidity to the wine the area of Penedès. The first bottles were produced in • Xarel-lo – Adding aromas and further acidity 1872 in the village of Sant Sadurní d´Anoia. The wine is • Parellada – Offering suppleness and floral1870´s created using the metodo tradicional (traditional method) tonesThe wine is now one of the most famous exports from which requires a secondary fermentation in the bottle. • Chardonnay - Produces high acidity and givesSpain reaching all parts of the globe. During the 1870´s, A pioneer of this method was the great Josep Raventós structure and body to the winein the height of the European phylloxera epidemic, the i Fatjó of Cordoníu, who founded the famous Cordoniu • Pinot Noir – Provides aromatics and colorvines were destroyed and needed to be replanted. In- company. The Traditional Method The traditional method consists of a first fermentation (about three to five days) from the grapes, which are vinified separately to create a base wine or cuvée. Then the base wine is blended and the winemaker can input some of their unique presence into the wine. The blending process involves combining the different cuvées and a mixture of reserve wine (held back from previous years) to create a consistent style. At this stage, the wine can have a mixture of different grapes from different vineyards and potentially different vintages. After this, a second fermentation (lasting anywhere from one to two weeks) in the bottle holds theToday´s Market magic that creates the ´bubbles in the bottle’. In order to createToday, international interest in cava is at an all time high, the use of the terms ´cava’, ‘Reserva’ and ’Gran Reser- the bubbles, the winemaker adds a cocktail of sugar and yeastwith the Cava Regulatory Board, or Consejo Regulador, va’ before rewarding a numbered seal of approval which and seals the bottle so that fermentation can begin. To producereporting over 244 million bottles produced during the guarantees to the consumer the origin and quality of the cava, the bottles have to be laid to rest for at least nine months2010 vintage. Of these, over 149 million bottles are ex- wine. Wines that have met these strict standards embel- in a cool, dark cellar.ported overseas and the rest are consumed domestically. lish the base of their corks with a four pointed star asCava has grown dramatically in importance since 1872 an additional guarantee to the consumer of high quality.and is now, according to the Chairman of the Board, Gar- Because of efforts like these, cava is quickly becoming ancia Guillamet, “the D.O. Spanish wine with highest inter- internationally renowned quality sparkling wine.national sales”. All wines and bodegas belonging to thecava name must report to the Consejo Regulador whichconducts quality checks to verify that any wine labeledas ´cava´ meets the current laws. They also authorize www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com
  5. 5. 7 8 The making of cava Cava grapesThe Final Stages Xarel-lo ParelladaAt this point, the bottles are slowly riddled, the process of very Round, white grape with strong skin. Semi-sweet on the The least planted of the traditional cava grapes, this varietalslowly moving the bottles from a horizontal position to an an- vine, it has a natural acitity that lends fresh, fruit aromas of brings acidity and fresh fruit characteristics to the more prev-gled position, allowing the dead yeast to move down to the apples, grapefruits and lemons to the wine. It is one of the alent Macabeo and Xarel-lo. While it grows best in higherneck of the bottle. Due to the high labor commitment it takes primary grapes in cavas grown in the following Designations altitudes, yielding bright, crisp wines, Parellada produces ato riddle the bottles by hand, it is predominately undertaken by of Origin: Alella, Penedès, Tarragona and Costers del Segre. softer wine in valley floor vineyards.machines, though it is still carried out by hand in a few winer-ies. Following this is disgorgement, in which the dead yeast isremoved from the wine by freezing the neck of the bottle in a Macabeo Chardonnaysaline solution and allowing the yeast to shoot out as a pellet. This is one of the most widely planted white grapes in the The most widely planted variety in the world and one of theFor Brut and Extra Brut, a cocktail of wine, spirit and sugar, North of Spain. It is responsible for the floral notes in cava most important grapes for sparkling wines, its inclusion intocommonly referred to as liqueur de expedition, is added back wines, is resistant to oxidiation and has a low acidity. In addi- Spanish sparkling wines in the early 1980’s is still controver-into the bottle, but for Brute Nature, no additional sugars or tion to being a primary varietal in cava, it has also seen great sial since it is not one of the traditional three cava grapes. Itspirits are used. Each winemaker has their own recipe, with success in Rioja and Southern France. Also spelled Macabeu adds body and toasted, creamy notes to the wine, and alsowhich they create a unique cava to their own tastes. Labeling in Catalan. takes on characteristics of the oak, if used, during the agingand dressing the bottles is the final process before the bottles process.are shipped and ready to be enjoyed by the consumer! Pinot Noir Trepat Producing some of the finest wines in the world, but also very A red wine varietal that is an indigenous grape to Spain. delicate and difficult to produce due to its thin skins, Pinot Most Trepat is grown in the Conca de Barberà DO. Has the Noir provides cava wine with great floral aromatics and color potential for fine red wines, but is primarily used to add light, in Roses. subtle characteristics and color to rosado cavas. Garnacha Monastrell Garnacha or Grenache, requires hot, dry conditions which More commonly known as Mourvèdre, this tannic grape adds makes it ideal for growing in Spain. It tends to lack acidity, structure and color to cavas. tannin or color, so it is typically blended with other grapes to add body and a sweet fruitiness to cavas. www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com
  6. 6. 9 10 Brut Nature This cava has had no sugar added to the final wine. As such, Brut Natures tend to be a lot drier than their Brut counterparts. However, there is still a small amount of residual sugar in the bottle from the secondary fermenta- tion, and legally speaking, it must be less than 3 grams per litre. Vallformosa Brut Nature 2010 Pale yellow with green hints. Medium and persistent bubble. Notes of lemon, green apples, pears and pineapple with an underlying bouquet of Tasting notes flowers. Fresh and smooth mouth feel. Short finish. Well balanced. Points: 92/100 | Price €95-100 points 90-94 points 84-89 points Retail price key: € - <9.99 €€ - 10-14.99 €€€ - 15-19.99 €€€€ - 20+ www.winepleasures.com
  7. 7. 11 12 Brut Nature Reserva Brut Nature ReservaThese wines have been aged for a minimum of15 months and no additional sugar was addedto the cava after the secondary fermentation.Dry, yet complex, creamy and mature on thepalate. Privat Brut Nature 2009 Rovellats Premier Brut Nature 2009 Pale yellow. Primary aromas of pineapple and green apples blend in harmony Light color of yellow green with a fine bead of bubbles. Nose is reserved with with ripe fruit and floral notes. Fine and persistent bubble. Medium finish. aromas of ripe fruit. Mousse is slightly aggressive with flavors of apples and toast. Clean and crisp finish. Points: 86/100 | Price €€ Points: 88/100 | Price € Cava Pere Mata Cupada Nº7 2009 Llopart Reserva Brut Nature 2099 Light pale yellow with slow rising fine bubble Aromas include eucalyptus, Light straw yellow with a fine and consistent bead. Citric and floral notes. Com- green bell pepper, apples and pears. Dry crisp finish. plex and well balanced. Points: 84/100 | Price € Points: 94/100 | Price €€ Vía de la Plata Brut Nature Chardonnay 2010 Finca Valldosera Subirat Parent Brut Nature 2009 Fine bubble, citric fruits, dried nuts and hints of mint. Fresh and clean en- Fine (slowly rising) bubble. Citric fruits such as pineapple, sweet lemon, tan- trance. Smooth texture and creamy mouth feel. Great acidity. Medium finish. gerine peel and floral notes abound. Complex, well balanced and buttery in the mouth. Points: 92/100 | Price € Points: 93/100 | Price €€€€ Fuchs de Vidal Unic Brut Nature 2012 Rich, creamy, smooth texture. Ripe fruits with hints of mint. Complex in the Finca Valldosera Brut Nature 2008 mouth. Pale gold color with fine bead. Sharp and fresh entrance. Frothy. Green apples with hints of dried fruits such as almonds and flowers. Points: 86/100 | Price €€€ Points: 91/100 | Price €€ Retail price key: www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com € - <9.99 €€ - 10-14.99 €€€ - 15-19.99 €€€€ - 20+
  8. 8. 13 14 Brut nature reserva Brut nature reserva Celler Vell ‘Les Solanes’ 2008Blancher Reserva Nature 2008 Golden yellow color with large continuous bead of bubbles. Aromas of tropi-Pale yellow. Creamy smooth texture with aromas of orange peel, hazelnuts cal fruits and an overtone of vanilla and nutmeg. Very delicate mousse withand citric Crisp with a fine bubble. Medium finish. mineral flavors which evolve into lightly toasted almonds, dates, honey and jam. Full bodied with a crisp finish.Points: 88/100 | Price €€ Points: 89/100 | Price €€€ Murviedro Expresión Solidarity Cuvée Chardonnay Brut Nature Fuchs de Vidal Cuvée Especial Reserva 2009 Golden yellow. Dominant ripe banana on the nose, floral tones, figs and Straw yellow with fine bubble. Well balanced with great acidity and body. almonds. Frothy entrance and fine bubble. Well balanced. Medium to long Aromas of ripe fruit, honey and jams. Smooth mouse and medium finish. finish. Points: 90/100 | Price €€ Points: 89/100 | Price €€ Mas Codina Cava Brut Nature 2008 Pale green yellow in color with a vigorous bubble formation. Hints of roseCeller Vell Brut Nature Reserva 2009 petals, apricot jam, pastry and dried fruits on the nose. Sautéed pineapplesDominant secondary flavors of ripe fruits, jams, figs and bakery products. Vol- with hints of spice on the palette. Great acidity and body. Medium to longume and body in the mouth. Buttery texture. Chewy! Smooth mouth feel. Me- finish.dium – long finish. Points: 94/100 | Price €Points: 93/100 Price €€€ Privat Laietà 2007 Pale green yellow with pastry, ripe fruit, honey, apricot jam and green bell Cava Pere Mata Cupada Nº 6 2008 pepper aromas. Fresh, acidic and a smooth silky texture and mouth feel. Pale yellow. Notes of pastry, jams, citric fruits. Great acidity. Fresh clean fin- Fine bubble. Long finish. ish. Smooth bubble. Points: 95/100 | Price €€€ Points: 90/100 | Price € Retail price key: € - <9.99 €€ - 10-14.99 €€€ - 15-19.99 €€€€ - 20+ www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com
  9. 9. 15 16 Brut nature gran reserva Brut nature gran reservaGran Reserve denotes that the wine must beaged for a minimum of 30 months, unlike nonvintage cavas which have to be aged for 9months or Reserve cavas which must be agedfor 15 months. It also contains no added sugar. Canals & Munné 1915 by C & M Golden yellow. Fine bubble. Dried fruits and notes of honeysuckle on the nose. Flavors of fresh lemon curd and citrus notes. Supple Rovellats Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2007 acidity which lifts the fruit. Elegant mousse and a delicate, refined Straw golden yellow. Rich buttery aromas, custard pie and almond blossom. length. Very fine bubble and silky smooth mouth-feel. Well-balanced. Great acidity. Long finish. Complex one! Points: 90/100 | Price €€€€ Points: 92/100 | Price €€ Cava Pere Mata Reserva Familia 2007 Straw yellow. Fine bubble. Complex palate of freshly baked croissants with lashings of Huguet Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2007 butter, biscuit, honey and minerality. Creamy smooth mouth-feel. Medium to Golden yellow. Explosive bubble. Citric notes (lime) with almonds and baked long finish. apples. Acidic finish. Fresh and crisp with good body and structure. Points: 96/100 | Price €€ Points: 90/100 | Price €€ Gramona III Lustros 2005 Bright straw yellow with green tones. Smoke and toasted notes. Ripe fruits Llopart Leopardi Brut Nature 2007 (banana), hazelnuts, and almonds merge into a butter aroma. Elegant smooth Golden yellow. Fine bubble. Complex aromas, citric, ripe fruit, pastry and hints bubble. Creamy texture and mouth-feel with sensations of pastries, ripe white of sherry. Very smooth mouth-feel. Complex flavors. Long fresh finish. fruits and blancmange. Hints of brandy flavors. Points: 92/100 | Price €€€€ Points: 93/100 |Price €€€€ Fuchs de Vidal Gran Reserva Millésimé 2009 Lively fine bubbles rise up the straw yellow liquid. Aromas of rich butter, figs, Alta Alella Mirgin Blanc 2009 anis, and loquats. Pleasant mouth-feel. Flavors well integrated. Straw yellow with green tones. Fig and ripe fruits and flowers overlay citric notes. Frothy. Well integrated with complex flavors such as nuts, ripe fruit, hops, custard Points: 89/100 | Price €€ and baked apple. Fine bubble. Long finish. Retail price key: Points: 98/100 | Price €€€ € - <9.99 €€ - 10-14.99 €€€ - 15-19.99 €€€€ - 20+ www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com
  10. 10. 17 18 Extra brut BrutExtra Brut has a maximum of 6 grams The sugar level for a brut wine can varyper litre of sugar in the bottle, which pro- between 3 -12 grams per litre. This add-vides a fuller mouth feel and creamier ed sweetness often provides a roundnessmousse, while at the same time allowing for the wine to balance the acidity.the acidity in the wine to shine through. Celler Vell Extra Brut Gran Reserva 2008 Albet i Noya Petit Albet Brut 2010 A striking appearance of green and golden colors in the glass support- Pale yellow in color and rich in flavor. Well balanced with a long fin- ed by a fine bead of bubbles. Aromas of cooked apples with notes of ish. Medium intensity on the nose. Pleasant mouth-feel. Short finish. almond, honey and toast. A delicate and supple balance of sweetness and acidity. Notes of pineapple and patisserie flavors on the palette Points: 84/100 | Price € and a clean finish. Pleasant Mouth-feel Points: 90/100 | Price €€ Bodega Sebirán Clos Dárcis Brut 2007 Straw yellow. Frothy and pleasant mouth-feel. Fine bubble. Aromas of green apples and grapefruit combined with caramel and floral notes. Short finish. Well balanced acidity and sweetness. Points: 86/100 | Price € Rovellats Col.lecció Extra Brut 2007 Fine bubble. Smooth delicate mouse. Notes of burned caramel, liquor- ish. Acidity and sweetness in perfect balance. Cava Papet del Mas Brut 2010 Bright light yellow with fine well released bubbles. Fresh and crisp entrance Points: 90/100 | Price €€€€ with aromas of citrus fruit, vanilla and lychee. Short clean finish. Smooth mouth-feel. Points: 85/100 | Price € Retail price key: € - <9.99 €€ - 10-14.99 €€€ - 15-19.99 €€€€ - 20+ www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com
  11. 11. 19 20 Brut reserva Brut reservaReserve denotes that the wine has beenaged for a minimum for 15 months, un-like the non reserve cavas which mustonly be aged for the standard 9 months. Bodega Sebirán Cava Coto D’Arcís Especial Brut 2007 Straw yellow. Fine and persistent bead. Expressive aromas of notes of honey, peach, honeysuckle and caramel. Creamy texture and smooth mouth-feel. Medium finish. Cava Pere Mata Cupada Nº 5 2008 Pale to gold yellow. Complex aromas: peach blossom, apple pie, cinamon, jam and honey. Fine bubble and smooth mouth-feel. Medium to long finish with Points: 85/100 | Price € fresh and crisp taste. Points: 92/100 | Price € Vallformosa Clasic Brut 2010 Pale yellow with green reflections here are there. Grapefruit, pears, white pepper, and herbs and pastry on the nose. Acidity and sweetness bal- ances. Creamy and bubble well integrated. Short to medium finish. Rovellats Imperial Brut 2008 Points: 86/100 Price € Delicious aromas of baked fruit (compote), jam, fruit tart, spice and wild strawberry. Straw yellow with golden hints. Well balanced. Pleasant mouth- feel and taste. Vía de la Plata Brut Chardonnay Reserva 2010 Points: 85/100 | Price €€ Complex on the nose - banana, anis, minty, fennel and underlying bakery products. Acidiy and sweetness well-balanced. Pleasantly frothy. Medium finish. Points: 92/100 | Price € Vallformosa Col.lecció Brut Reserva 2009 Watermelon, cucumber, candy and candy floss are just some of the aromas to discover in this cava. Pale gold colour. Well balanced acidity and sweetness. Creamy texture. Medium finish. Fine bubble. Albet I Noya Brut Reserva 2009 Pale gold. Notes of dried apricot, passion fruit and honey. Subtle balance between acidity and sweetness which makes it fresh and crisp. Medium Points: 86/100 | Price € finish. Fine bubble. Smooth mouth-feel. Points: 84/100 | Price €€ Retail price key: € - <9.99 €€ - 10-14.99 €€€ - 15-19.99 €€€€ - 20+ www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com
  12. 12. 21 22 Brut gran reserva Brut gran reservaThe longest to age, the wine has to gothrough a minimum of 30 months of ag-ing before being deemed a Gran Reserveand allowed into the market. Celler Gramona Batlle 2002 Deep dark golden color. Fine and centered bubbles. On nose intense aromas Duran Gran Reserva Brut 2007 of pastries, honey, almonds and smoked aromas. Palate is spectacular, full Slow rising bubbles bring aromas of roses, violets, sweet shop, ripe fruit and bodied, carbonic very well integrated, entry palate is like a glove, mild flavors melon (Cantaloupe). Straw yellow. Smooth and silky texture. Long creamy finish. of apple and citrus. Simply excellence and with a few years ahead. Points: 98/100 | Price €€ Points: 95/100 | Price €€€ Huguet Gran Reserva Brut Classic 2007 Very fine slow rising bubble. Amber, butter, violet, vanilla, crema catalana Gramona Imperial 2007 and ripe and dried fruits are all josling to reach your senses. Smooth mouth A bright fresh nose of ripe green apples and granite; on the palate a slight toasti- feel, round flavors, slightly bitter with a crisp finish. ness warms the mouth while the same luscious apple tart filling lingers. Balanced out with just enough citrus acidity, this wine hits all the tongues pleasure centers. Points: 90/100 | Price €€ Points: 95/100 | Price €€€ Retail price key: € - <9.99 €€ - 10-14.99 €€€ - 15-19.99 €€€€ - 20+ www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com
  13. 13. 23 24 Cava rosado Cava rosadoRosé gains its color by macerating thewine with the grape skins for a briefperiod during the first fermentation. Canals & Munné Rose Pinot Noir Brut 2010 Albet i Noya Cava Pinot Noir Brut Rosé 2010 Loads of red fruits jump out: wild strawberry, purple cherry, raspberry with Lively fine bubbles rise up the bright cherry - berry colored liquid. hints of grapefruit and orange. Fruity mouth feel. Acidity and sweetness well Lively and abundant bubble. Fresh and intense. On the palate a balanced. Cherry-berry color smooth mouth-feel thanks to a well integrated acidity and sweet- ness. Medium finish with pleasant fruity sensation. Points: 96/100 | Price €€ Points: 92/100 | Price €€ Cava Dominio de la Vega Brut Pinot Noir 2009 Pale cherry color. Fine release of bubbles. Red fruits particularly wild Llopart Reserva Rosé Microcosmos Brut Nature 2008 strawberry aromas with hints of walking into a cake shop. Subtle Marvelous pink – salmon color. Wild fruits of the forest combined with sweetness. Crisp medium finish. hints of mango. Fresh and fruity mouth-feel. Fine bubble. Well struc- tured. Long creamy finish. Points: 90/100 | Price € Points: 87/100 | Price €€ Cava Papet del Mas Brut Rosé 2007 Beautiful pink salmon color. Fine and persistent bubble. Explosion of aromas Vallformosa Brut Rosado 2010 on the nose including almond blossom, bakewell tart, raspberry, red currant Pale salmon color. Fresh and fruity. Gooseberry, peach skin, almond, quince and jam tarts. Creamy texture. Pleasant mouth-feel. Well balanced. Short fin- and wild red forest fruits on the nose. Smooth bubble. Fruity and fresh finish. ish. Elegant and stylish. Points: 98/100 | Price €€ Points: 94/100 | Price € Retail price key: € - <9.99 €€ - 10-14.99 €€€ - 15-19.99 €€€€ - 20+ www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com
  14. 14. 25 Cava rosadoBlancher Rosé Brut 2010Cherry-berry color. Fine and persistent bubble. Red fruits such asstrawberry and raspberry on the nose, Hints of white pepper. Freshand crisp entrance. Pleasant mouth-feel and mouse.Points: 88/100 | Price €€ Mas Codina Cava Brut Rosé Reserva 2009Beautiful salmon color. Fine bubble and extremely smooth and silkymouth-feel. Acidity and sweetness well balanced. Tangerine, orange and almond blossom greet the nose. Creamy palate Fruity medium finish. Points: 96/100 | Price €€Vallformosa Col.lecció Brut Pinot Noir 2010Light cherry color. Fine and persistent bead. Acidity and sweetness well comple-mented. Creamy texture. Strawberry, mandarin and quince on the nose. Fruitymédium finish.Points: 96/100 | Price € Retail price key: € - <9.99 €€ - 10-14.99 €€€ - 15-19.99 €€€€ - 20+ www.winepleasures.com
  15. 15. 27 28 Albet i Noya The Albet i Noya family are the pioneers of organic win- emaking in the Penedes region, their first organic wine dating back to 1978. Currently producing 26 different varieties of wine and cavas with a total output of more than a million bottles per year, the winery continues to grow by regularly introducing new ecological products to wine lovers worldwide. For example, this September the first Albet i Noya sulfite-free cava will enter the market. This innovative winery is devoted to its experimental and research work, especially to the recovery of lost varieties of grapes, found in abandoned vineyards or in the wild. Albet I Noya try to manipulate the product as little as possible in the later stages of production, instead con- centrating on the field, growth and the raw materials. For example, the harvest of the cava grapes starts later than elsewhere to avoid the acidity and acquire fresh and fruity flavors in the taste. This September the first Albet i Noya sulfite-freeWineries cava will enter the market. The vineyards stretch from 250 to 400 meters above sea level, therefore depending on the grape variety the per- fect climate conditions can be adjusted. The winery has changed its owners many times through the centuries and each has left his own touch in the architecture or de- sign, probably the most interesting being the fingerprints of architect Josep Maria Pericas i Morros - a student and a friend of Gaudi. 08739 Sant Pau D’Ordal Barcelona Tel.: +34938994812 www.albetinoya.cat www.winepleasures.com
  16. 16. 29 30 Alta Alella BlancherAlta Alella is a family-run winery with the most magnifi- Antoni Capdevila Pujol moved to the world’s cava capital, Santcent views. Its location just above the Mediterranean Sea Sadurni d’Anoia, to pursue his dream of producing the best cavaand within the beautiful Serralada de Marina Natural Park possible. In 1955 he opened Blancher - a winery named af-perfectly fits Alta Allella’s green mentality as this winery pro- ter his beloved wife. Today cava Blancher produces exclusivelyduces only organic wines and is also the creator of the first Reserva and Gran Reserva and does it with strictly traditionalsulfite-free cava in the world. methods, including riddling the bottles by hand.Six of 11 Alta Alella’s cavas are filled in distinctive, elongat-ed bottles to emphasize their unique identity. The shape wasoriginally associated with the Alella region and this is an at-tempt to renew that distinction. Most famous for its cavas,this winery is also proud to provide wine for some of world’stop class restaurants. With their first bottles dating back onlyto 2001, Alta Alella has turned out to be quite a success,due to the fresh Mediterranean climate, spirit of innovationand the ecological approach.Location just above the Mediterranean Sea and within the beau- The winemakers of Blancher have adopted the philosophy of the founder, their grand-father, that each grape must be carefullytiful Serralada de Marina Natural Park perfectly fits Alta Alella’s controlled thoroughout the process - from the ripening till the green mentality. bottling. Blancher describe themselves as traditionalists as they blend new technology with traditional cava making techniques. A visit to the winery will verify this. Blancher offers a nice escapeThe founder Josep Maria Pujol-Busquets with his wife lives for both, tourists and locals: besides the visit, wine tasting andin a stylish art-deco house, overlooking the vineyards and the museum, visitors can enjoy the barbecue facilities. The ideathe cellars. In addition, a brand new visitor facility has re- is to bring along your own selection of meats to grill together withcently been built to welcome clients and tourists. The win- salads etc, the rest is taken care of.ery’s location in Serralada de Marina, comes with the re-sponsibility to respect the environment, therefore, it’s notuncommon to encounter a rabbit or even a wild boar amongthe vines, however, situated only about twenty kilometers You cook on the spot and enjoy the Old vines serve as the kindling wood; you cook on the spot and enjoy the food together with Blancher’s exquisite cavas. Thefrom Barcelona, it is a perfect wine tourism destination. food together with Blancher’s exquisite experience costs around sixteen euros per table, as well as a requirement to purchase at least six bottles of cava. The uncon- cavas. ventional winery with barbecue in the backyard has attracted regular clientele, including many well-known Spaniards.08328 Alella 08770 Sant Sadurní d’Anoia BarcelonaTel:(+34) 93 469 37 20 Tel.: (0034) 938 183 286www.altaalella.cat www.blancher.es www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com
  17. 17. 31 32 Can Feixes Canals & Munné surely withstood the test of time. Merging tradition with mo- Seen from afar, Can Feixes winery resembles a fairytale house dernity, the winery is proud of its outstanding cavas and wines as it emerges from the pine forests, woodlands and surround- – with gold medals from all around the world as proof. The ing vineyards. The fact that it is run by three brothers reinforces main building of the Canals &Munné is the modern “New Cava”, the impression. The Huguet family took over the estate in 1985 just outside the town of Sant Sadurni. The grapes are cultivated and remodeled the vineyards to ensure the best growing condi- in another location, higher up in Font Rubi, Alt Penedes and tions for each grape variety, enhancing further the fertile fields are transported down to the winery, where the production can with modern agricultural methods. Though the winery owns vast begin. The whole process lasts up to five years. Some of the vineyards spanning 80 hectares, their output remains rather cavas are filled in special cone-shaped bottles to assure better low (240,000 bottles total and only 8,000 bottles of cava per fermentation, which also works as an attractive design element. year), due to an exceedingly scrupulous selection process, en- Recently Canals & Munné has developed its first organic cava suring that only the very best grapes of each variety are used. “Dionysus”, as well as its first white bio wine and they hope to The high end wines are only produced on selected years, when create more 100% natural products in the future. the required variety of grapes and their traits are at their peak. Both Huguet cavas (Brut and Brut Nature) are exclusively Gran Reservas, While most cava producers use the traditional blend, of which Xarel-lo is an irreplaceable component, the Huguets Some of the cavas are filled in special have chosen to use Parellada, Macabeo, Chardonnay and Pinot cone-shaped bottles to assure better fer- Noir grapes, creating an appreciably distinct cava. mentation, which also works as an attrac- While most cava producers use the traditional tive design element. blend, the Huguets have chosen to use Parel- lada, Macabeo, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Canals & Munné is still keeping its “Old Cava” located inside grapes, creating a appreciably distinct cava. the town. - after almost a hundred years of producing wine, the atmospheric old cellar has been turned into a restaurant, a tasting facility and an ideal destination for all wine and cava lov- The Huguets have a knack for merging the past and present - in ers. Currently offering limited production of eight excellent cava the stables several motorcycles are resting between old carts and varieties, Canals & Munné enjoys its reputation of being one of ploughs. In the beautiful, well-preserved chapel of Santa Eulalia the best producers of cava in the region. masses are still held on special occasions. The old barn has been turned into a cosy barbacue corner and in the old, unused cellar, an exhibition reveals the rich and long history of wine making, while the young wines slowly age in the modern facilities nearby, perhaps preparing to make history.08718 Cabrera d’Anoia 08770 Sant Sadurní d´Anoia BarcelonaTel.: (+34) 937 718 227 Tel. +34.938913327www.canfeixes.com www.canalsimunne.com www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com
  18. 18. 33 34 Canals Canals Capità Vidal The Canals Canals family connection to the cultivation of vine- yards and the production of wine dates back to the beginning, when Miquel Canals Ollé first founded the winery in 1903. The The small winery was founded by There are six wines on the market, family house and wine cellars remain located in Castellvi de Rosanes, a small village in the wine growing region of Penedes. one of the best but the main focus (and best-seller) of known Spanish sailors - Enrique Capità Vidal are their cavas. Originally, the land was used to harvest the grapes and later it Vidal, hence the was prepared and transformed into the wine sold at the fam- name Capità ily home. In 1975, Ollé and his son, Ramon Canals Llaverol, (Captain) Vidal. pooled their resources and decided to produce their first bottles After decades of of cava. This began the lasting dedication to the production of producing qual- cavas with a fine taste and complexity. ity wine, captain, now in his seven- Canals Canals is the first cellar to produce exclusively cava Gran Reserva. ties, has retired to dedicate his days to sailing again, and family member, Helena runs the business today. Capità Vidal treats its products with The third generation of the Canals family introduced the first genuine care and attention: the grapes are hand-picked and all bottles of the Duran Gran Reserva project in 2007, in homage the cava bottles are still hand-riddled. There are six wines on the to their maternal grandmother, Mercé Duran. This new project market, but the main focus (and best-seller) of Capità Vidal are was prompted from an interest to keep up to par with the best their cavas, known by the name of Fuchs de Vidal. sparkling wines in the world. Canals Canals is the first cellar to produce exclusively cava Gran Reserva. These cavas feature Lately there has been a growth in exports, and Fuchs de Vidal is high quality grapes harvested in the Penedes region, grown and becoming more and more popular abroad, especially in Belgium, ripened on the hills of the inland Mediterranean region of Cata- Netherlands and Japan, however, the majority of the production The winery itself, enclosed/surrounded by vineyards, is located lonia. The cavas include blends of the traditional grape varieties stays in Spain. The clients of the winery tend to remain loyal in the Alt Penedes about 200 meters above the sea level. Inside, such as Xarello, Macabeo, and Parellada with new contribu- through the years. One of them, Julio Salinas, a retired Barce- the two passions of Enrique Vidal - wine and sea - are exposed to tions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the white cava and Trepat lona FC player and a cava lover, even suggested the creation of the visitor through pictures, portraits and small design elements. and Pinot Noir in the Rosé. They are matured for more than 30 his own label and Capità Vidal brought into the market a limited Producing around 150,00 bottles a year produced and only six months in the bottle in order to reach the complexity, finesse edition of cava with a picture of the famous footballer on each full time employees, Capità Vidal is all about quality over quanti- and elegance in the bottles. bottle . ty, opting for a superior product at the cost of reduced and limited production. In addition to the winery and cellars, the Canals Canals family owns the only private cava museum which shows a collection of more than 2,500 exhibits from vineyards, wines and cavas. The collections are grouped together in three, theme-based ex- hibition rooms: the antique glass room, the viticulture room, and the oenology room.08769 Castellví de Rosanes 08733 El Pla del PenedèsBarcelona BarcelonaTel. 93 775 54 46 Tel. +34.938988.630canalscanals.com www.capitavidal.com www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com
  19. 19. 35 36 Celler Vell Dominio de la Vega Family is at the heart of Celler Vell. Founded in 1954 by Pere Dominio de la Vega is located in the heart of the Estruch Casanovas and now operated by his son Josep Rovira. Utiel - Requena region. It has a predominant With only two hectares of vines, the bodega buys base wine Mediterranean climate, although with continen- from a local cooperative and creates cava through the tradi- tal characteristics due to its altitude and distance tional method. Located in the heart of Penedes at the home of from the sea. The region has a long history of cava, in Sant Sadurní D´Anoia, the winery sits proud on top of wine making, but this winery is relatively young- it a hill overlooking the town. Cellar Vell believes in using the tra- was founded in 2001. The bodega’s great success ditional varieties for their cava but have incorporated Pinot Noir story lies within their range of cavas, which con- and Grenache into the rosé, providing a rounder, more complex stantly receive good press reviews and high tast- wine than most. With the focus solely on the winemaking, the ing scores. For white cava Dominio de la Vega use cellar offers a unique service of personalized labels for consum- Macabeo grapes as the basis, complimented with ers. Production is currently at 80,000 bottles per year, but the some Chardonnay. The Rosés get their deep bright bodega has plans to expand the winery and build a hospitality strawberry tonality from Garnacha and Pinot Noir hall for customers. grapes. For both only the first pressed juice or the flower must is used. With the focus solely on the winemaking, the cellar offers a unique service of personalized labels for consumers. An interesting aspect of Dominio de la Vega is their investment in all kinds of social work and charity. The cellar offers a range of eight wines, with the focus on Brut and Brut Nature. The majority of wines use the traditional grape varieties with a hint of Chardonnay to provide the cavas with a The house is a beautiful 19th century Valencian building, heavier mouth feel. Celler Vell produces a range of young cavas, surrounded by vineyards. It was chosen to avoid lengthy aged for nine months and gran reserves, which are aged for a transportation of grapes and because of the favorable cli- minimum of thirty months. Celler Vell also produces a semisec mate and apparently these two factors were the ground cava for a sweeter taste. All the wines are disgorged by hand to stones for a creation of one of the finest wine and cava maintain the authentic artisan approach. selections in the region. An interesting aspect of Dominio de la Vega is their investment in all kinds of social work and charity. In the past they’ve supported organiza- tions fighting such diseases as cancer or the Asperger syndrome, as well as sponsored foundations helping the handicapped. and many others.08770 Sant Sadurní d´Anoia 46390 San AntonioBarcelona ValenciaTel. +34.938910290 Tel. ( +34) 962320570www.cellervell.com www.dominiodelavega.com www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com
  20. 20. 37 38 Gramona LlopartGramona is excellence in a bottle and excellence that hasbeen patiently nurtured, crafted and is under constant According to an old document in Latin, an ancestor of the Llo-innovation. It is these qualities that have made Gramona part family, Bernandus Leopardi, was granted some vineyardscavas stand out not only on a national level but also glob- in 1385 and the family has been in the wine business everally. The philosophy at this Bodega is to make complex, since. The Llopart cava brand is also the oldest in the region,aged cavas in contrast to young, fruity cavas. The this year celebrating its 125 anniversary. Through these years irst bottle of Gramona was produced in 1921. It is a the label of the cava brand has changed little - first a litho-family business, currently in the hands of the 3rd gen- graph, now an illustration depicting the panoramic view of theeration of Gramonas. In addition to the Bodegas unique winery and its surroundings. The view is even more impressivephilosophy they also believe in experimentation. This is in real life: 90ha of vineyards planted on ascending/descend-shown through their portfolio of twenty-five wines, rang- ing terraces, situated up to 350 meters above sea level, 300ing from their nine cavas to their still and distilled wines. ha of forests and the beautiful silhouette of Montserrat in the distance. A great number of fossils have been found in the soil, some of which are exhibited in the winery, and a white wine Gramona´s priority for excellence goes further than just has been named Clos Dels Fossils to emphasize the excep- their aging technique. tional land it comes from. Lamps are made out of cava bottles and there is even a small fountain with water splashing out of a cava bottle.The underground cave, ‘Cellar Battle’ was constructed in Only the first juice extracted from the grapes (first 1550L of1881 and since then has been added on to, to make up every 3000 kg of grapes), known as “the tear must” and thethe cool, dark, three-story cave, home to Gramona’s fin- flower must is used to make Llopart cavas. Definitely a wineryest elixirs. Gramona´s priority for excellence goes further of tradition, Llopart also pay much attention to details: thethan just their aging techniques but also through their bottles are riddled manually and all the grapes are picked byuse of 3-disc corks, the solera dosage system and their hand. The old cellar under the family house is still open toprecise hands-on approach for riddling and labeling their visitors, as well as the stylish exposition at the winery, bothpremium cuvées. displaying the history of centuries of winemaking. Lamps made out of cava bottles and even a small fountain with water splashing out of a cava bottle are just some of the elements that shows the kind of passion and respect Llopart treats their sparkling wine with.C/ Industria, 36 08770 08770 Sant Sadurní d’AnoiaSant Sadurní Barcelonad’Anoia Tel.: (0034)93 899 31 25Tel. +34 93 891 01 13 www.llopart.eswww.gramona.com www.winepleasures.com www.winepleasures.com