Tour de Spain: Cava
"I need you to drink some Cava tonight." I said to my husband. There's a good reason for this odd, solo-drinking
request demand: In case you missed my Instagram announcement; I'm pregnant with our third child! I'm due in July with another little girl, who has already stolen our hearts. Until her grand arrival, hubs is the one to polish off the bottle after I do a sip and spit for the blog. Waste not!
What better way to close out my Tour de Spain series than with some bubbles? Although Cava isn't a specific region in Spain, it has its own DO because of its distinct style and it's a world class sparkling wine. It runs a very close second to Champagne for me. It's made with a blend of three local white grapes: Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada. Many of the grapes are grown in Penedès, which is near Priorat and some also come from Rioja, Navarra, and Valencia. Like Champagne, Cava is vinified using the traditional method of sparkling wine production, so it has those great bready characteristics and the creaminess that come from yeast autolysis. I find that it's fruitier than Champagne and can take on a cool, smokey character, so sometimes I'll spring for a Cava over a Champers depending on what my palate is craving. Plus it's often friendlier on the wallet.
I selected La Vida al Camp Cava Brut for this post. The family behind this winery is the iconic Raventós family, who have been growing grapes and making amazing wines in Penedès since 1497. They can be credited with the creation of Cava itself because Josep Raventós Fatjó was the first to make Spanish wines in the style of Champagne in 1872. How's that for a legacy? Although the La Vida al Camp winery is a separate project from the biodynamic Raventós i Blanc winery, they source the grapes from family friends who grow grapes using certified organic farming practices. This Cava expresses notes of pear, green apple, lemon curd, and white flowers. The wine is matured on its lees for 18 months, which gives it a flavor of a buttery croissant and a nice, creamy texture. It's really delicious with a zippy acidity and at only $15 there shouldn't be much hesitation to pound this at brunch, or anytime really.
Thanks for reading through all of my posts about Spanish wine! If you've been at all inspired to seek out wines from the regions that I've covered, then my job here is done and I hope you will continue to explore Spain through its wines. Are there any other regions that you'd like to see me to focus on?