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

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!

Nya stjärnor på systembolaget

Vi får fler och fler bra cavor att välja bland även här i sverige. De senaste tillskotten på bolaget kommer från ett av Penedès bästa cavahus, Torelló. Jag har länge saknat dem och nu finns åtminstone två av representanter ur husets portfölj att beställa via beställningssortimentet. Dessvärre endast i kolli om 6 flaskor, men de kommer till ett så bra pris att jag inte ser det som ett problem.

FullSizeRender-2 Torelló Special Edition nr 77806

Denna cava kallas ofta för “Barcelona edition”, då flaskans heltäckande dekor är helt inspirerad av den katalanska huvudstaden, med bland annat landmärken som Sagrada Familia.
Det är en traditionell blandning av Xarel.lo, Macabeu och Parellada, lagrad minimum 24 månader och smakar just som en välgjord traditionell cava skall smaka. Helt ärligt har jag rekommenderat denna till allt från “mingelbubbel”, till skaldjurstallrikar och som “gå-borts-pressent”. Den är otroligt gångbar och jag har inte träffat någon som inte gillat den. Inte helt snustorr, då det är en “brut”, och med frisk smak, samt både lagrade toner och ungdomlig frukt kvar i smaken. Jag skulle kunna ge en intrikat beskrivning av honung, vita blommor, persika och allsköns aromer som kan beskriva denna cava, men helt ärligt tycker jag det blir lite långtråkigt att läsa alla dessa vinbeskrivningar. Jag begränsar mig till att säga att den är SUPER, ordentligt med “pang för pengarna” helt enkelt! Testa får du se!

Torelló Pàl-Lid Brut Rosé Reserva nr 77834

Detta är en av husets nyaste tillskott och är underbart lätt, frisk och fräsch. Till skillnad från husets traditionella rosé som är djupt rosa är denna ljust laxrosa, och namnet Pàl-Lid betyder just blek på katalan. Den är som moderna roséviner gjord på Pinot noir och smakar där efter med röda bär i förgrunden. Härligt fruktig och lätt, men även med karaktär som den fått från sina (minst) 18 månaders lagring på flaska. Det blir inte mer passande än så här till sommaren. Jag tror att få roséfantaster kommer att bli besvikna på denna, eller ha problem med att det är kollikrav på minst sex flaskor vid beställning.

Jag kan VARMT rekommendera båda dessa cavor från ett av mina absoluta favorithus. 

Är du  på väg ned till Barcelona på semester? Då tycker jag att du skall besöka Torelló, för det är ett helt fantastiskt cavahus.

Vill du läsa mer om cavahuset Torelló så finner du information här:

http://www.torello.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

Bottles that will keep you going until spring comes!

Do you like me long for Spring?
I hate this cold, snow, ice and gloomy weather, so much that I have become totally addicted to tulips! Maybe because I can’t enjoy bubbles in the same way as before due to a growing belly. But I thouht I’d give you all some tips regarding nice bottles that might help you brighten up that gray winter day! All these bottles are also avalible at the swedish monopoly, for all you poor people that share my unfortunate situation of beeing stuck here in the snow.

IMG_1030.JPGBombonetta by Jaume Giró i Giró,
This bottle is one of my long time favourites from the winemaker Ramón. It is a brut Gran Reserva aged for a minimum of 40 months.
Grapes: 38% Xarel.lo, 17% Parellada, 17 % Macabeu 15% Pinot Noir and 13% Chardonnay.
Wonderful fresh stye with flowers, nuts and baked goods in the nose. Great soft bubbles.
At the monopoly in Sweden you can now buy this bottle for 229 SEK, which is a GREAT price! (Special ordering segment nr: 77591) A real “must buy”!

 

 

de nitDe Nit by Raventós i Blanc,
This sparkling wine (Raventós left DO Cava in 2012) gives me real spring feelings! It is a very pale rosé, that is super crisp and elegnat. I LOVE it! It is an extra brut Reserva aged for a minimum of 18th months.
Grapes: 42% macabeu, 37% xarel-lo, 14% parellada and 7% monastrell.
Super fresh with its white grape base, but with a rich fruity pallet that really makes you think of spring. And nothing makes you long for summer as a rosé!
Can be bought at the monopoly for 169 SEK. (Special ordering segment nr: 77423)

OliviaOlivia by Castell D’Age
If you are looking for something ecologic this cava is a great spring choise. It is actually aged in oak, which gives a little touch that I like. It is a Reserva brut nature, so no added sugar.
Grapes: 100% chardonnay.
This cava is my clear favourit from this house. It is fruity, with clear notes of bread from the ageing but those subtil oak notes realy make it that extra special.
It c
an be bought at the monopoly for 171 SEK. (Special ordering segment nr: 77169)

These are my three tips for right now!
Hope you like them!

Bubbly hugs!!