In praise of Spanish Cava

Been hearing a lot about how good Spanish Cava is these days and how it’s reinvented itself over the last few years. So with the festive season rapidly approaching, I know it’s a bit early, but it is and perhaps you’re looking for a good alternative fizz for your celebrations then you wouldn’t go wrong with a bottle of Cava.

Undergoing the same production process as in Champagne but called ‘traditionelle‘ it’s normally a good affordable alternative to many Champagnes and other sparklers. Predominately made in the north east of Spain using grapes such as Macabeo, Parellada and Xarello but now with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir introduced into the blend there are some fabulous examples around.

Most will be familiar with entry level Codorníu Cava Brut and of course Freixenet in its distinctive black bottle and to be honest, they are decent enough and great value but look beyond them and you will find some exciting Cava’s around. Here are just a few I’ve enjoyed…….

Vilarnau Gran Reserva Brut Nature Vintage

From González Byass, a blend of 35% Macabeo, 35% Paralleda and 30% Chardonnay, aged for 36 months in bottle, small soft bubbles, mostly citrus fruit, but with a hint of apricot, finishes the creamy apple pie and toasty fresh croissant in the background.

Segura Viudas Brut Vintage Gran Reserva

Macabeo, Parellada, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – On lees for 15 months, Lively acidity, bright stone and citrus fruits, brioche, elegance and a soft sweetish finish.

Gran Claustro Cava

42% Chardonnay, 42% Pinot Noir, 6% Xare-lo, 5% Macabeo & Parrellada – Nose of apple pie & aniseed, Steady stream of fine bubbles. Brut Nature so very dry, medium bodied, tasted of crisp green apples, slightly bready, slightly creamy with a lingering finish. Very good !

Jaume Codornui Brut

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Xarel-lo (11.5% abv) Classy Cava, Small steady stream of lively bubbles, lemony fruits, creamy, nutty, biscuity. Tasted fresh with honey and flowers lurking in the background. really enjoyed this !

Vilarnau Subirat Parent Brut Reserva

100 % Subirat Parent (11% abv) – Must admit I’d never heard of the grape but I loved this Cava. Very unusual perfumed aroma of freshly cut flowers, medium fizz and a softness. Slightly tart but in a good way

Unlike any other Cava I tasted, maybe not to everyone’s taste but different enough to be noticed. May be hard to get hold of unfortunately but well worth trying if you can find some.

Juve y Camps Reserva de la Familia Brut Nature Gran Reserva

Chardonnay, Macabeo, Parellada. Xarel-lo – Another brilliant Cava, Lovely straw colour with aromas of toffee apples, stewed pears and stone fruits. Tastes almost savoury with, brioche, peach, pears and a little honey. Fine bubbles not overly fizzy.

This is just a small selection, there are many more excellent Cava’s out there, just spend that little extra and enjoy the difference it makes.

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