Anna de Codorniu, Cava.
We were surprised to know that Cava is far closer to Champagne (in terms of taste) than Prosecco. If you’re looking for value bubbly, Cava might be in your wheelhouse. Cava is made the same way that Champagne is produced, but with different grapes varieties. Cava DO (denominacion de origen) is the official classification of Cava. It can be produced throughout Spain but most Cava is made (95%) in Catalonia (although allowed in 7 regions).
Cava = wine cellar in the Spanish language.
There are a number of regional and international grapes used - 9 that we know of - Macabeu (white), Parellada (white), Xarel·lo (white), Chardonnay (white), Malvasia / Subirat parent (white), Pinot Noir (red), Garnacha (red), Monastrell (red), Trepat (red) exclusive for Rose and original from Tarragona (D.o.Conca Barbera).
There are three classifications of Cava based on age: min 9 months, Cava Reserva is at least 15 months, Gran Reserva a min 30 Months. 1986 was when they created the DO (denominacion de origen) The Codorníu family history dates back to 1551. Documents dating from that year are the first to refer to Jaume Codorníu’s vineyards and his winemaking activities. In 1872 cava pioneer Josep Raventós produced the first bottles of Spanish sparkling wine using the traditional method.
Anna de Codorníu was launched - their most emblematic cava and the first cava to include the Chardonnay variety. Anna is a tribute to the last descendant to carry the Codorníu surname.
The first rosé cava made from 100% red Pinot Noir grapes was launched in 2002, a revolution in the world of cava. We tasted the Finca La Pleta a 300 bottle 2007 test vintage. It was a revelation! Next we tasted a Cava that pays tribute to their 457 vintages. The 457 is an offering made up of a representative blend from each of the three zones, two continental and one Mediterranean zone, Mediterranean, Continental Mediterranean and Continetal. Some Chardonnay (Segrià), Pinot Noir (Conca de Barberà), Xarel.lo (Penedès). Each varietal was vinified separately and the final blend was made just before bottling the 1000 bottles.
Leslie did a great job of transporting us to the region and setting the stage of reverence and relevance.
Look out Champagne, Cava is serious bubbles and it won’t be long before everyone knows about it.
Tasting a Grand Reserva Arts Collecta Codorniu 457 was a special moment. Only 300 bottles made as a test. It passed! Will be interested to see the following vintages.
Is Cava ready to take on Champagne? Maybe not yet but... How about Prosecco? Arguably close. Value? It’s there! It won’t be long, just as the best Prosecco has seriously closed the gap on Champagne especially when valued is tossed in, Cava is knocking on the door!