Intervju med mig själv

Jag gick igenom lite filer på datorn och hittade denna intervju, som jag gjorde för en tidning förra året tror jag. Jag tycker att det är så bra frågor så jag tänkte att det får åka upp på bloggen.

Vad är det som gör cava så bra?

Det finns både bra och dålig cava precis som det gör med allt annat. Jag uppskattar cava, dels för att jag gillar de traditionella cavadruvorna, xarel.lo, macabeu och parellada, men också för att det finns sex andra druvor som är tillåtna att använda. Detta ger en enormt smakspektra inom DO Cava. Sedan är självfallet det faktum att all cava är gjord med traditionell/champagnemetod något som jag finner väldigt tilltalande.

Men vinsnobbarna ha svårt att älska cavan, eller?

Jo vist är det så. Men det förefaller vara så att dessa personer inte har smakat välgjord, långlagrad cava, framför allt inte i blindtest.  Husen Gramona och Recaredo har båda produkter som ”tagits för champagne”, så jag tycker nog att det finns anledning att vara lite mer ödmjuk.

Är den underskattad?

Absolut, det tycker jag. Det finns otroligt mycket välgjord cava som är mycket prisvärd och intressant. Men sedan måste man ha i åtanke att det också finns mycket massproducerad ”bulkcava”, som man inte skall låta styra ens åsikt om cavakategorin som helhet. Det gäller att hitta pärlorna.

Är cavan från Katalonien alltid bättre än cavan från andra håll i Spanien?

Det beror ju på vad man gillar såklart. Men det finns en stor skillnad har jag märkt. I Katalonien är fokus helt på cava hos producenterna, med vissa undantag som Torres. I Katalonien gör producenterna cava, och ibland med något stilla vin som kompletterar portföljen. Utanför Katalonien är fokus främst på vin, med någon enstaka cava som kompletterar vinportföljen. Jag är helt övertygad om att man blir bättre på det som man har som sitt fokus och huvudproduktion.

Kan den mäta sig med champagne, någonsin?

Ja

Är detta enkom en utpräglad aperitif eller går det bra med mat också?

Personligen dricker jag mest cava till mat, så absolut funkar det. Men det beror ju på vad man äter och vilken cava man har tillgång till. Jag väljer ofta vällagrad Gran Reserva och kraftigare typer av cava rent generellt, vilket inte alls är signifikant för produktionen i allmänhet. Vällagrad Gran Reserva är inte helt lätt att få tag på via systembolaget, som är mer inriktade på det billigare och lättare sortimentet, som är mer passande till aperitif.

Om du skulle beskriva cava med tre ord, vilka skulle de vara?

Varierande, prisvärt och spännande.

Har du någon favoritkombo cava-mat? (Du får gärna vara specifik.)

Mitt enklaste tips är en salami som går att köpa i nästan alla stormarknader, som heter Fuet. Denna är fet, nötig och mild och passar fantastiskt till cava i allmänhet, men kan jag få den till en välgjord Gran Reserva, gärna baserad på xarel.lo, så blir jag lycklig. Annars passar en välgjord brut nature (minst reserva) oftast mycket bra till Moules marinere.

Vilken är den bästa cavan just nu (ska finnas på Systembolaget, lägg gärna till artikelnummer och pris)

Gramona III Lustros kostar 325:- NR: 71915 på beställningssortimentet. En fantastiskt smakrik och välbalanserad brut nature cava gjord på 70% xarel.lo och 30% macabeu och lagrad i fem år. Underbart mjuk mousse med mogna gula äpplen i smaken, härliga toner av noguat, kex, fikon och örter. Ett bra exempel på hur prisvärt cava kan vara. En av mina långvariga favoriter faktiskt, så jag är mycket glad att den just nu finns på systembolaget, om än i begränsad upplaga.

 

The Big Cava Charitytasting!

It is quite special to say the least to host a tasting for a hundred people, but special in the most posit
ive sense.

On the 4th of May I had the privilege to host a tasting at Norrlands Nation in Uppsala, where all funds collected went directly to the renovations of the nations great hall. Im happy to say that we collected over 20 000 SEK! So thank you so much to all of you who came!

A SUPER BIG THANK YOU also goes to the four cava producers that made it all possible!! Vilarnau, Alta Alella, Castell D’Age and Juvé y Camps! You are the BEST!!

 

People were very excited upon arrival and sat down at tables of eight, together with both friends and new acquaintances. After an introduction of the renovations needed in the great hall preceded by Gustav, Norrlands nations representative, we started up with a short history of the region and rules about cava in general.

We did the tasting in two flights, starting with Vilaranau Brut Nature and Privat from Alta Alella. While I was giving the background on the two cavas, and also introducing more facts about the three signature grapes of cava, everyone started sniffing and comparing. It was clear that people were enjoying themselves from the discussions that emerged. What was especially mentioned with the two wines was the fruitiness and roundness of Vilarnau that many people liked, while the Privat was appreciated for its freshness and clean style.

The next flight was started with AnneMarie from Castell D’Age, but closely followed by Reserva de Familia from Juvé y Camps, for people to be able to compare more aged cavas. While everyone was sniffing and tasting, I talked bit about the difference of the aging criteria when it comes to Cava and Champagne, and also what notes one can expect with increased aging.

Some of the guests that were used to drink Champagne were very surprised over the aging vs. price, and admitted that aged cava is remarkably good value for money, which cava-lovers know since long back. 😉

AnneMarie was appreciated very much for its elegance, while Reserva de Familia was liked for its well developed and round profile. Here we clearly had two groups with one who preffered AnneMarie and the other Reserva De Familia. But taking the two cavas personality in account I see this as a natural split in personal tastes, just as we found in the first flight.

Doing a small “Gallup” it was pretty clear that the people who preferred Vilarnau in the first flight, had Juvé y Camps as a favourite in the second. While the people who liked Privat also liked AnneMarie better in the second flight. On the whole it was a great event thanks to the happy and very interested crowd that came! I’m so happy and grateful that you all wanted to participate and made this possible!

CHEERS!!

 

 

 

Välgörenhetsprovning 4:e maj

Kom igen nu! Innan den 24:e april måste du och dina fina vänner anmäla er till välgörenhetsprovninigen på Norrlands! Vi siktar på att det skall bli den största cvaprovningen i Uppsala och troligen Sverige någonsin! Hjälp oss att fylla gamla salen och skrapa ihop lite pengar till renoveringsfonden. Utlottning av fina priser blir det dessutom som bonus! Komsi komsi!

Top Of The Pops among Cava and Champagne

It is not every day you get the chance to try a line-up like this, so I must admit I had been excited for weeks beforehand. And it really was just so interesting and exciting as I thought. This is my thoughts about the experience…

For you who are not really aquatinted with these cavas and champagnes I can just give you the very brief details.
Cavas: 
ENOTECA BRUT NATURE 2001: 75% Xarel-lo and 25% Macabeu, from Gramona.
LA CAPELLA 2005: 100% single vineyard Xarel-lo, from Juvé y Camps.
TURÓ D’EN MOTA 2005: 100% single vineyard Xarel-lo, from Recaredo.

Champagnes:
SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL CUVÉE 2000: Pinot noir and chardonnay, from Pol Roger.
DOM PERIGNON 2006: chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot munier, from Moët & Chandon.

To start with we compared the two younger cavas with Dom Perignon of nearly the same age. And after that SWCC and Enoteca.

Before we started I really thought that the notes coming from the aging would be predominant and have made the sparkling wines more similar. Although all wines had very distinct aged notes there was a huge differens which I had not counted on.
What struck us all was how very vibrant and alive all the cavas were compared to the champagnes of nearly the same age. The cavas had together with the aged notes of bread, nuts and biscuits ALSO a great balance of fruitiness left in them. The Champagnes were broader, softer and had both clearly more oxidized notes of yellow apple to them, that the cavas did not.
I love them all for their own uniqueness, but it was truly striking that all the cavas still felt so young after all this time!

Especially Enoteca 2001 (being so old) is truly amazing in its vibrant freshness!

I have always liked “old” wines, because I love what the aging does with the wine. Hence I have for a very long time had Sir Winston rated at the top of my list.  But to be honest… to get both these fantastic aged notes together with a freshness and elegance shown by Grsmona’s Enoteca is amazing.

This same is true for the younger bottles of Turó d’en Mota and La Capella compared with Dom Perignon. The cavas are still super fresh and complex, while the Dom is more rounded and of course complex, but more bombastic than elegant.

One thing that might explain this is something I learned from Xavier Gramona, when he visited Stockholm in March. He explained that Xarel-lo is a perfect wine for aging since the variety contains the highest levels of antioxidants of any white grape. Maybe it is these antioxidants that keep the cavas so fresh after all this time?

I promise I will write a blogpost on all the cavas, all in due course. They deserve nothing less!

“To uproot one would be to uproot ourselves” The story of a vineyard

Since I will have the great opportunity to host a very special prestige tasting on Wednesday, where Turó d’en Mota will be one of the cavas we will taste. I thought I’d publish the article I wrote on this extraordinary cava for Glass of bubbly last year.

“To uproot one would be to uproot ourselves” The story of a vineyard

The first time Ton took us up to see Turó d’en Mota, I did not want to leave. There is something very special about this vineyard and it cannot be explained, you have to go there. Some people would perhaps say that it is a blessed place, spiritual or full of positive energy, if they experienced what I do when I go there. I will just say that it is something very special about this vineyard that makes me relate to it in a way I have never done, to any other patch of earth planted with vines.

Turó d’en Mota means “the hill of the Mota Family” and was planted in 1940. The vines are crocked, thick and seems to have lived a good but hard life, and every one of them has an appearance and personality so they could easily all have individual names. The plot is not big, only 0.97 hectares and a couple of years ago the vines growing there were sadly and abruptly decreased.  
Apparently it had been raining that night, and someone was out “skidding” with their car on the muddy roads around the vineyards and crashed into Turó d’en Mota, taking about ten vines with them in the crash, if I remember correctly. Unfortunately these vines were not as lucky as the driver to make it out of this crash alive.
How do you explain to someone how much these vines mean to the family that owns them, how do you explain what they are worth, how irreplaceable they are? Ton once said that “To uproot one would be to uproot ourselves”, which might give a glimpse of what he must have felt when he found out about what had happened.

I’m glad though that this vineyard has lived 76 years this year and that most of it is still intact, because that means that we will be able to continue to enjoy the wonderful cava coming from its vines. It is, my friends, something out of the ordinary.
About 3000 bottles comes out of the approximate 4 400 kg of xarel-lo grapes harvested yearly by hand. Fermented first in oak for two weeks and later aged for a minimum of 120 months in the Recaredo cellars, this cava is unique in so many ways. When the first vintage (1999) came out, it was the first single vineyard cava ever made, and also the first monovarietal cava made from the xarel-lo grape. It is a perfect expression of the land it grows on, and you can clearly smell and taste the calcareous soil, the rosemary, thyme and fennel growing on the hill just next to the vineyard, and even though it is aged for over ten years, it is still fresh and vibrant.
So for all narrow-minded people who say that cava cannot be aged… they have clearly not tried Turó d’en Mota. 

Now it has been at least three years since we last visited this fantastic plot and I must honestly say that I miss it. Every time this year when we have driven passed the exit road leading up to Turó d’en Mota, just outside Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, I have thought that “Next time” we will take that exit and just drive up to say “hello” and see how the vines are doing. But no, that never happened, and now I sit here in cold Sweden with -15 C outside and can’t stop thinking if my friends the vines by the hill, will see any snow this year? I think they would like too.

“Turó d’en Mota is a way of explaining our history; it is a memory, a way of relating to each other, of getting to know one other. Above all, it is a chance to appreciate a landscape.” -Ton Mata