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…

The 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.

The 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.

One 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!

 

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

Torelló, and more magnums than I have ever seen before!

Cavas Torelló is on the way from Sant Sadurní to Gelida. A very winding road that goes up, up and up, until you turn in to the Torelló estate and the road starts to go down again. The road up to the masia is one of the most beautiful I have seen in the Penedès, with olive trees and vineyards on both sides. To be honest the Torelló estate is a little bit of paradise.

Also the house is fantastic and you can really tell that the family has been taking care of it in the best of ways for a long time. So much history, and I especially fell in love with the chandelier in their hallway that was very old apparently.

Toni that showed me around is one of the brothers in the family, and they are all together running the company. Me and Toni actually met several times during Cava tast, my book presentation and the coronation of the Cava queen so it feels like we know each other all ready.

Walking through the winery with Toni I learning something new, because Torelló has a press that can press without oxygen ever touching the grapes. Because they fill the press with nitrogen gas! Apparently it works very well so they only use this technique since four or five years back. It is called Inertys .The cellars is absolutely wonderful and bottles stacked in rima everywhere, and everything by hand. Torelló only make reserva and gran reserva and all bottles are moved twice during the ageing time and shaken to reactivate the yeast. This procedure is called battonage and is very time consuming.  Torelló is very focused on Magnums which I love, and they actually have every cava within their portfolio available in magnum. But unfortunately we cant get them in Sweden.

They also make their brut nature gran reserva in jeroboam which I have not seen anywhere. Well of course I have seen cavas in that size before but I have never met a producer that actually has them in “every day production” if you know what I mean. Fantastically cool!
To control the pressure and see how the cavas develop is of course important and here three different once were being tested.

We of course also taste some cava, but since I already tried some at Cava tast (their brut nature and their rosé, which are both great), we focused on two of their cavas. Namely their Gran Torelló which is a Gran Reserva brut nature and aged minimum 48 months and contain the traditional grapes, and their 225 gran reserva, which has been aged on oak and then aged in bottle for minimum 30 months. Both fantastic, but I am a bit soft for oak cava I must admit.

If you want to have a look at Torelló’s website you will find it here. It is very good indeed and you will find all the information you need in English.

Thank you so much Toni for a wonderful visit! I will bring Andréas as soon as I can because I know that he would love Torelló.