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Tuesday 3 November 2015

CAVA London Experience‏

A cava tasting at 67 Pall Mall with the President of the CRDO del Cava, Pere Bonet, hosted by Ronan Sayburn MS
Low-priced supermarkets have a lot to answer for - when I think of cava, it is of cheap, generic fizz on deep discount at Christmas, sold to me with a distinctly East End accent: "And don' forgit the CAHvah; on'y [insert deep discount price here]".

Did I know cava is made by the traditional method of secondary fermentation in bottle? Albeit from non-champenois grapes?

Did I know there are vintage canvas, spending extended periods of time on the lees before disgorgement?

Did I know it has a cool-climate elegance, linearity and precision?

Well, yes and no. I knew some of this technically, but I never really thought of cava as a Champagne-alternative. I certainly didn't have the same enthusiasm for cava that I have for sherry or Champagne.

Until now.

A tasting of 20-odd cavas at 67 Pall Mall taught me this - cava is fresh and elegant with orchard fruit and citrus acidity. If it lacks the opulence of aged vintage Champagne, it is priced more competitively; choose wisely and you'll get Champagne quality for Prosecco money.
The only problem is cava's image - it's that rather blue-collar ad again.

Would I choose cava for my goddaughter's Christening or niece's wedding?

Let's put it his way; I wouldn't necessarily drink it with a whole meal, but I would happily order a bottle as a group aperitif or with canapés and be pleasantly surprised.
With an audience of mainly on-trade and high-end buyers, don't expect to see too many of these in your local supermarket any time soon.

But do be prepared to accept a sommelier's recommendation to try a cava at the start of your meal.
The wines

1. NV Freixenet Reserva Real, Brut (Freixenet)
2. NV The Wine Society Cava, Brut, Reserva (The Wine Society)
3. NV Segura Viudas, Gran Cuvée, Brut, Reserva (Bibendum)
4. 2012 Parxet Brut Reserva
5. 2012 Codorníu, Reina Ma Cristina, Blanc de Noir, Brut Reserva (Codorníu)
6. 2010 Parxet Titana Pansa Blanca Brut Reserva
7. 2010 Torello Brut Reserva “Special Edition”
8. 2006 Freixenet, Casa Sala Gran Reserva (Freixenet)
9. 2009 Gran Juve y Camps, Brut, Gran Reserva (Ehrmanns)
10. 2010 AA Migrin Brut Nature Gran Reserva
11. 2010 Vilarnau Gran Reserva Brut Nature (Gonzalez Byass)
12. 2008 Pedregosa Reserva de l’Hereu Brut Nature
13. 2009 Pares Balta, Blanca Cusine, Gran Reserva
14. 2009 Albert de Vilarnau, Gran Reserva (Gonzalez Byass)
15. 2009 Augustí Torelló Mata Gran Reserva Brut Nature Barrica
16. 2008 Gran Torello Brut Nature Gran Reserva
17. 2007 Gramona, III Lustros, Brut Nature, Gran Reserva (Fields, Morris & Verdin)
18. 2007 Mestres Visol Brut Nature Gran Reserva
19. 2006 Recaredo, Brut de Brut, Serral del Vell Estate, Brut Nature, Gran Reserva (Les Caves de Pyrene)
20. NV Marta, Passió Rosado Reserva Brut

Other related articles
Codorníu Cuvée Barcelona Brut
Vilarnau Brut Cava, NV

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