Top quality cava from Spain for those perfect summer moments

Cava: premium sparkling Spanish winesCava: premium sparkling Spanish wines
Cava: premium sparkling Spanish wines
Sadly, this year we don’t seem to be having a ‘perfect summer’. Understatement of the year perhaps, as we put the central heating on yet again and shelter in our gardens from the relentless horizontal drizzle.

But at least we can open a bottle of something interesting to share with friends, as we pretend that its not as bad as it really is. This week is International Cava Day on Thursday 12th July, a very reasonable excuse to purchase a bottle or two and sip a glass of fabulous sparkling wine to lift the spirits and dream of sunshine.

Like many wines, Cava has had its ups and downs, partly due to quality issues and partly due to consumer trends known as ‘fashion’. Towards the end of the 20th century Cava was on a high in terms of popularity, but with some quality issues and the growing prosecco following, the Cava export market took a dip. With considerable efforts and investment, quality has improved dramatically across the board and these sparkling wines have now rightfully reclaimed their place on the world stage.

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Made by the traditional method with secondary fermentation in the bottle, Cava came about as a result of the effort, ingenuity and creativity shown by a group of Catalan winemakers and producers. After the disastrous phylloxera epidemic of the mid-19th century, they decided to make a new start. Cava was first produced in 1872 by Josep Raventós, who brought the méthode champenoise back with him from France, where vineyards were stricken by the plague of phylloxera lice, which attacked the roots and killed the vines.

There are three indigenous grape varieties generally used in cava: Macabeu, with a light lemon flavour and soft floral aroma; Xarel·lo, with fruity notes, stronger, richer aromatics and greater aging potential and Parellada, with zesty flavour and sharp acidity. Bottle fermentation and bottle ageing on the lees gives greater depth of flavour and complexity and additional categories have been introduced of Reserva and Gran Reserva for wines aged for longer.

Vilarnau Cava Brut Reserva, presented in a fabulously eye-catching bottle, is an organic wine, made in a state-of-the-art winery, with sleek minimalist design, from vines which grow at 250 metres above sea level, enjoying a Mediterranean climate. Specialising in the production of high quality cavas, the winery shares its innovative, creative and dynamic nature with Spain’s most avant-garde city, Barcelona. Green apple, William’s pear and brioche notes, with a fine mousse and complexity from 18 months maturation on the lees. £11 from Ocado on offer, or £11.99 from Majestic mix six price.

The company of Roger Goulart has been producing a range of Cavas based in Sant Esteve de Sesrovires since 1882. Starting as a modest family business, the company acquired more land and in 1919 a magnificent building was completed to house the winery and shipping warehouse, often referred to as The Cathedral of Cava. Roger Goulart Brut Reserva 2019 is aged for a minimum of 18 months and often for more than 2 years. Aromas of white peach and pear mingle with citrus notes and a touch of yeast. The palate is fresh with considerable depth and length on the finish.

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Roger Goulart Gran Reserva is aged for over 5 Years, giving greater depth of flavours and complexity. It is also Extra Brut, giving a vibrant, stylish drier finish. Straw yellow with golden tints, aromas of fennel combine with toasted brioche and hints of herbs. Both available from a range of independent merchants, Reserva around £16 and Gran Reserva closer to £20.

Cava is simply deliciously affordable, stylish sparkling wine.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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