Tag Archives: garnacha

Time for PINK!

Now summer is really getting close and today with the super nice weather we had I just thought I’d write a post about Pink, that I have planned for so long.

Yes indeed the rosé season is upon us for real (even though I’d happily drink rosé all year round), and the hunt has begun to find new favorites.
Here in Sweden we have been so lucky as to get Parés Baltà’s, Pink, on the shelves of the monopoly, and it has quickly become something that very often can be found in my fridge.

Pink is a wonderful rosé cava of the medium pale sort I’d say. Based on two white grapes, parellada 32% and macabeu 30%, it gets it color only from the 38% garnacha. I must say that it is a great blend. The Parellada gives it elegance while the garnacha naturally brings the read fruits. The macabeu on the other hand must be the reason why this blend does not “tip over” with ripe strawberries, raspberries and alike, like so many rosés do, leaving you with a “jam-like” taste on the tongue. Pink stays elegant, balanced and fruity, with a nice finish, and jam is really the last thing on my mind!
I’d say that Pink is a lovely cava just to enjoy the way it is, in the afternoon sun, but I’m sure it would go well to lots of sallads and many types of tapas.
And by the way… don’t be fooled by the white control mark on the cork, it is really aged for 18 months, and hence a Reserva, although a very vibrant sort.

Here in Sweden it is a real bargain too, only 99 SEK, which is good value for money in my opinion. And I forgot to mention that it is hundred percent ecological/biodynamic!

To be honest I had a glass after my run yesterday evening. I thought I had earned it. 

If you’d like to see what Parés Baltà has in their portfolio in general you can find all the info you need at: http://www.paresbalta.com

I love diversity, that’s why I love cava

The diversity within the DO Cava is both a blessing and a curse, and many people working with cava would agree on this. I choose to see the positive side. So what is actually so great about it?

Well let me explain…

xarello grapesThe biggest reason for the great diversity among cava is the fact that nine grape verities that can be used, more to choose form right there. Xarel.lo, macabeu and parellada are the most common verities and make up the backbone in traditional blends. Many people would say that this trio is the soul of cava and what makes it so special. But you also have chardonnay and malvasia among the white grapes allowed. When it comes to the red verities there are trepat, garnacha, monastrell and of course the very popular pinot noir. Since it is now allowed to make blanc de noire also in the DO Cava, with trepat as only exception, the possibilities are many. In my opinion all these red grapes make a great spread of rosé cavas, from the elegant salmon pink to the fruity bright raspberry coloured, that can be enjoyed and used in combination to endless types of food.

Bottles in rimaThe three age classes from the minimum ageing of nine months, to the reserva at a minimum of fifteen months and the gran reserva at thirty months or more, are also one aspect that widens the range of choice. Unfortunately many people only know the very young products and think that this is the only way to have cava. Numerous times I have met wine people and even fellow sommeliers that think that cava cannot be aged, and nothing could be further from the truth. Some even say that the local grapes don’t have the structure to age in a good way, and to those I can very much recommend a trip to the cava houses of Gramona, Recaredo, Juvé y Camps or Castell San Antoni, just to mention a few.

Vine yards at RecaredoOne other aspect that contributes to the wide spread of choice with in the cava family is the price range, and this is a very debated subject. Mass produced or high end, the choice is yours. I’m not saying that this wide spread is all good. But if you exclude the very cheapest bottles from the discussion, I do think it is great that you can find a cava that suits your taste, the occasion and your wallet. Because to be honest, most of us are not made of money and can’t drink 50 Euro bubbles every day, at least I can’t. And one thing that you can be sure of is that you very often get extremely good value for your money, since the land prices and production costs are so much lower in Penedès then say Champagne.

So my dear friends, if you have not already dived in to the sea of great cavas out there and enjoyed the diversity. I highly recommend you to do that as soon as possible and I’m absolutely positive you will find some favourites.

Cheers and happy hunting!

Anna and cava

Segura Viudas Brut Rosado

segura viudas

This is a real classic that I have recommended to so many people. It used to be available at the Swedish monopoly on the shelf for many years but unfortunately no longer. It has really been one of those cavas I have “fallen back on” and often had some in my cellar “just in case” you know.

It is a very nice, easy rosé that suits most people it seems and it still has character in my opinion. It is made from 90% trepat and 10% garnacha, which makes it fruity, but not in that strawberry/pinot way, if you know what I mean. This fruitiness is more of a cherry, cranberry, raspberry style which I like. The mousse is good and it is an overall nice and likable rosé. Here in Sweden it costs 89:- and you have to order it (nr 7779) at the monopoly. But I think it is definitely worth it, if you what something good but not very complicated for a low price, to just pop when you feel like it.

Starting the day at Vallformosa

A great sunny morning and the days first visit. I must admit that I feel a bit strange travelling the Penedès without Andréas, but he had to go home so there is nothing much to be done about that.

Vallformosa is quite a big winery and it is very easy to find the way since it is just outside Vilafranca and big signs show the way. And coming by car from Sant Sadurní it just takes 15 minutes.

It is a beautiful house and there is also a new centre where you can have meetings and tastings up to 350 people, if I remember correctly. But I was alone and met up with Angel, that showed me around.

We started in the garden, just by the house where the family still lives. And the winery is still run by the family members, all having different roles. They have been working very hard and Vallformosa is now exporting to many countries around the world.

What I like especially is that the family has taken care of all old things and you really get a good understanding of how complicated things must have been just 50 or 60 years ago.

The production now is very modern and effective, and it is no problem to handle the range of wines and Cavas made here.

At the end we of course reach the tasting room and I have the luck to be able to taste some great things. I especially fell in love with their rosé made by 50% garnacha and 50% monastrell. It is just so much Penedès in my mind.

If you are lucky (you living in Uppsala) I might put it in the rosé tasting I’m planning. 🙂