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

Spring in Penedés- A program to enjoy!

I see pictures from Penedés every day, with almondtrres flowering and vines budding. All this why the snow around my hose slowly melts away and the temperatures are trying to stay above zero. Well well,

This week In La Vanguardia one could read about a new spring program that some of the Penedés producers are inviting you to share. I have translated it to the best of my knowledge.

BARCELONA, 11 (EUROPE PRESS)

A total of 12 Catalan wineries have joined in the program ‘La Primavera del Cava’, which will be held from 1 to 21 May in the Penedès and who wants to promote wine tourism in the area.

So far, the wineries Agustí Torelló Mata, Codorníu, Giró Ribot, Gramona, Juvé & Camps, Llopart, Segura Viudas, Sumarroca, Torelló, Vallformosa, Vilarnau and Vins el Cep has joined the program.

All of them will share  activities designed for all ages, which will take place in the vineyards and are designed to make the visitors enjoy the spring weather as the same time as learning new things about cava.

For example, Vilarnau will on May 1st host a tasting of flowers and cavas in the vineyard that will begin with the collection of wild plants in the woods along with the sommelier Carles Aymerich from Celler de Can Roca and the specialist in the use of plants in the kitchen Everist March also he from  Celler de Can Roca.

On the 5th May, those who are interested will be able to enjoy, at Valformosa, a reading of tales that aims to publicize the wine tradition of the company, which dates back to 1865. And on Saturday May the 6th, Segura Viudas proposes a breakfast in the farmhouse with cava, wine and products of near by, followed by a naturalistic walk.

Also on that same Saturday, Gramona offers a tour of its vineyards to learn about the usefulness of medicinal plants, animals, flowers and stars. Llopart will that same day show their wineyards from a helicopter. 

Sunday 7th of May, Torelló welcomes visitors to take a tour of the vineyards with a following brunch.

The following weekend, Saturday May 13th, Codorníu hosts a tour of the vineyards by electric or conventional bicycle, a visit to the winery and a picnic made with Catalan gastronomy together with a tasting of cavas. On Sunday 14th  Agustí Torelló Mata offers a breakfast at the foot of the vineyard and a stroll through the cellar.

During the last weekend of this initiative, on Saturday May 20th, Vins El Cep presents a solidarity walk to visit with family and friends through the sites of the wineries accompanied by experts who will explain the fauna, flora and works of the vineyard , While Juvé & Camps will give the opetrunity to enjoy the flowering of the vines while mountain biking.

Finally, on Sunday, May 21st Sumarroca closes ‘La Primavera del Cava’ with a guided walk through its vineyards, to explain the natural cycle of the vineyards, and a tour in the Wine Jeep.

I really think it all sounds wonderful! But I have to wait until June, to  see all the friends and producers again.

Wearing Memories till alla hjärtans dag!?

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ÄNTLIGEN!!!

Det är sannerligen inte lätt att vara småbarnsförälder! Tiden bara försvinner och jag kan f**n inte hålla någonting i huvudet då mina tankar ständigt blir avbrutna. Men men, de är underbara de små liven och de är ju bara små så kort tid… Nåväl!

NU kära bubbelälskare är de äntligen uppe i shoppen och med en egen sida och närmare titt här på hemsidan, Wearing Memories!

Jag sprang på dem först för några år sedan och bestämde mig för att jag absolut var tvungen att ha en ring, så jag köpte en i silver. Fantastiskt roligt har vi haft jag och ringen. Ni som följer mig på Instagram är ju bekanta med den sedan tidigare. Aldrig tidigare har jag haft ett smycke som väckt så mycket intresse, åh det är ju härligt.

Är du intresserad av ett stycke för din egen del eller möjligen för någon annan? Ta en titt uppe i menyn på Wearing Memories.

Jag vet att Alla Hjärtans Dag närmar sig med stormsteg och är det så att du skulle vilja ha något från shoppen levererat tills dess, så se till att meddela mig SENAST TORSDAG, så jag kan posta det på fredag och du ha det i brevlådan på måndag.

 

hjärtan

Beeing a security junky or letting go?

Most of us have a steady job. We need it to pay the bills. Life works that way even though it’s boring. Someone owns you 8 hours a day and tells you what to do, when you can have vacation and when to come in extra.

I have always been a security junky, who thought being employed was the only sensible thing to do. But this was until I met Andreas. He has NEVER been employed, but worked more than most people I know. He gave me the push I needed 2009, to follow my passion that later would end up in hundreds of tastings, two books, and a whole new life, and now he has done it again!

To make a long story short, Andreas has given me the confidence to “quit my day job”  (or at least take a leave of absence)  and work in our family’s firm full time. It’s not that I don’t like my job at the big brewery, it’s the commuting that is killing me!

So what will I do exactly you might wonder?

Well… I will blog more, host tastings again (this year’s program is coming up soon on the website), act as an impartial cava consultant, represent and sell Wearing Memories, continue on the new book! AND since none of the above brings any cash to the dinner table, I will also lease myself out to help with other companies bookkeeping, since I have a history in economics and keep our company’s books.

Then we of course have many new ideas for the company, but all in due Corse.

So if you know anyone who needs a part time economic assistant that can also do great tastings at the company’s staff party, give me a ring! J

But for most of you this change will mean that you will get more steady reports on cava here on the blog, and the opportunity to try some cava if you have the possibility to go to Uppsala.

So I hope to see and hear mor from you all on both Instagram, Facebook and on mail, because you know I love the dialog and contact with all of you!