If you like high quality bubbles made in the traditional method and fit for a king or queen but prefer to pay pauper prices Cava is the bubbles for you! In the world of sparkling wines Cava is a must to add to your portfolio. Why you ask? Let’s explore the world of Cava.
In order to understand Cava you need a brief understanding of Champagne since Cava is crafted in the same method as Champagne. Here is a very straight forward explanation on how Champagne is made from Spanishwine.com along with a helpful infographic from Winefolly.
The method for making Champagne must be adhered to in order for a wine to be officially labelled “Champagne.” It is the “Méthode Champenoise.” This method involves allowing the wine to continue fermenting in the bottle for a period of time (months to years). During this time, the bottles are capped with crown caps (like for beer) to withstand the pressure that is building inside the bottle. The bottles are also slanted down, so the yeasts eventually settled in the neck of the bottle. When the wine is judged ready, the bottles are kept in this position with the yeasts at the neck. Through several different processes, the neck of the bottle is submerged in a freezing solution, which only freezes a few inches of the wine inside at the neck which contains the yeast. Then, with the yeasts trapped in a short plug of ice, the bottle can be turned upright without the yeast swirling into the wine. The crown cap is removed, and as the plug of ice starts to melt every so slightly, the pressure from the gas inside will actually expel the plug. Then, the winemaker can top up the wine with the same wine or can give it a dose of wine with some sugar to increase fermentation or to add sweetness. What is important to know about the Méthode Champenoise is that the bubbles in Champagne occur naturally from the wine continuing to ferment in the bottle, not from some carbonation method of adding CO2 under pressure.
Cava uses indigenous Spanish grapes as well as French grapes and can be produced in a few limited areas (DOCs) of Spain instead of just one area. The most productive Cava producing area is in northeast Spain near Barcelona in an area called Penedès. However, Cava is also produced in Rioja, Cariñena, Ribera del Guadiana and Utiel-Requena. Cava is typically not sweet and is made from any combination of the following seven grapes: Macabeau, Parellada, Xarel-lo, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Garnacha and Monastrell. As stated above, Cava is considerably less expensive than Champagne. One explanation for the price difference is Spanish winemakers have fully automated their Cava making process. The low price of Cava has at times led to over importing poor quality Cava resulting in its reputation taking a hit in the wine market and among critics. However, there are very high quality inexpensive Cavas available in the US and Anna De Codorniu is certainly one of them!
The following wines are media samples shared with me by Gregory White PR.
Anna de Codorníu Brut NV: This wine was produced in the D.O. Cava region of Penedès and was crafted from 70% Chardonnay and 30% Parellada. This wine poured a soft gold into the glass and opened with soft aromas of citrus, tropical fruit, and orchard fruit with buttered toast. On the palate this lovely Cava delivered dazzling flavors of grapefruit, Granny Smith apples, lime zest and brioche. It offered a round acidity and clean finish with a smooth mouth-feel. SRP $14.99.
Anna de Codorníu Brut Rosé NV: This wine was produced in the D.O. Cava region of Penedès and was crafted from 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. It poured a vibrant watermelon pink into the glass and opened with inviting aromas of red berries, savory herbs and a touch of yeast. On the palate this crisp and tart sparkler delivered flavors of tart cherries, strawberries, brioche and a touch of fresh cut grass. It was very acidic with a smooth texture and loads of effervescence. This wine was light and crisp, perfect for summer sipping and definitely turning any occasion into something worth celebrating! SRP $14.99.
I chose to celebrate a Friday night with Anna. Food pairings: Anna de Codorníu Brut Rosé is a perfect aperitif wine. Serve with creamy cheeses, hard sharp cheese or a salty charcuterie assortment. Anna De Codorníu Brut pairs beautifully with fried foods, summer salads, light creamy pasta dishes, seafood and sushi.
A classic sparkling wine that embodies the strong character and effervescent chic of Spanish (and American) women, “Anna” is named for the heiress of the Codorníu winemaking family who married winemaker Miquel Raventos in 1659. Anna’s descendant Josep Raventos was the first to master the “Méthode Traditionelle” of making sparkling wine in Spain and thus began the rich history of Cava. Anna was also the first to incorporate Chardonnay (grown in the Penedès region), resulting in beautiful, crisp character that is a signature of wines. The 2014 vintage marks the launch of the Anna de Codorníu Blanc de Blancs and Anna Rosé chic new look and advertising campaign encouraging all of us to celebrate life every day because bubble are no longer for special occasions!
Anna embodies Codorníu’s steeped traditions of enological quality, careful viticulture and innovation. On account of its history and its exquisite taste, Anna has become Codorníu’s most emblematic product both at home in Spain and around the world.
Anna de Codorníu’s new marketing campaign is focused on women; however, do not let this fool you. These Cavas are wines to be enjoyed by all. Furthermore, they are fun and vibrant and will make any time you open them a party. I recommend you pick up a few bottles to keep on hand, perfect for summer sipping, spontaneous friends showing up or a to take to the beach, lake or anywhere there is a party.
My Song Selection: Anna de Codorníu’s family pioneered Cava in Spain and thus these lovely wines are named after her. She was an empowered woman and the new ad campaign seeks to further empower woman while reminding all of us every day is worth celebrating. Therefore, for my song pairing I have chosen another empowered woman who brings us her style and a song that celebrates the ordinary of everyday life as well as the glamorous life….
Celebrate special occasion and everyday life with Anna de Codorníu Brut NV and Anna de Codorníu Brut Rosé NV and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!