After my faith in Spanish Cava was restored by the “2007 Raventós i Blanc L’Hereu Nit” Brut Reserva Cava, I decided to try the non-Rosé version of the same wine this week. The wines are from the same vintage, so the difference between the two is the absence of red grape, Monastrell (a.k.a. Mourvèdre) from this wine. The juice from Monastrell gives the Rosé its color.
As I mentioned in my post about the Rosé version, unlike Champagne, Cava isn’t from a particular region, rather it’s a term used for Spanish sparklers made in the traditional method (known as Méthode Champenoise) used in France. While there are some other regions in Spain that also make Cava, about 95% of the production comes from the traditional home of Cava, in the Penedes region in Catalunya (a.k.a. Catalonia) The basic rules for making wines that may be called Cava are as follows:
- Must be made in the traditional method.
- Must age on lees in the bottle in which it will be sold for a minimum of 9 months, 18 months for Reservas and 24 months for Gran Reservas.
- All the grapes used for must be white grapes – the 3 most common being Macabeo (a.k.a. Viura), Parellada (pronounced pa-re-yada), and Xarel.lo (pronounced cha-rel-low) – unless you are making a Rose, in which case certain red grapes are permitted.
The producer, Raventós i Blanc, is the only Cava producer to estate grow (on about 200 acres of land that has been in the family since 1497!) and bottle all their wines. Their Cavas are all vintage dated, which also sets them apart. This wine is also a “Reserva” level Cava.
2007 Raventós i Blanc Cava “L’Hereu” Reserva Brut
Variety – 60% Macabeo, 20% Xarel.lo, 20% Parrellada
Residual Sugar – 8g/Liter
$18, 12.5% a.b.v.
Production method: Méthode Champenoise;
My tasting notes follow:
Appearance: Very light straw color with tiny bubbles
Aromas: Green apple, sweet chalk, and a faint ocean breeze, or mineral aroma.
Body: On the palate a creamy, delicate mousse, yet approaching medium-bodied mouthfeel
Taste: Green apple, lime and a bit of orange peel on the back palate.
Pair with: The beauty of sparkling wines is their versatility with food, because of their palate refreshing quality (think scrubbing bubbles;-). This was was delightful as a aperitif and with food. I enjoyed it with fish tacos from a local taqueria. I was pleasantly surprised that it held up quite well with the spicy salsa I favor on tacos, fish or otherwise. Try this one with tapas, especially seafood tapas, or maybe grilled seafood such as grilled scallops.
This one is another winner from Raventós! It was comparable in enjoyment, complexity, structure, to other sparklers at this price level, and many, including Champagne that cost more. I’d buy this one again in a heartbeat, and it’s a very good value. I heartily recommend! 90 pts
Cava…it’s not just for Mimosas anymore!