GRUPO CODORNÍU RAVENTÓS
Students of Cava will know that the eponymous two names above are seriously big hitters in the world of Spain’s famous sparkling wines. For, approaching 140 years, these two names have been inextricably linked with Cava – the latter because it was in fact a same family Raventós that started the bubbles rolling towards the end of the 19th Century, and the latter, linked by marriage with the former, because it is one of the two best known Cava producers in the world!
You can imagine my delight therefore when I received recently the first of a number of samples from this large group, which is another example of how big is beautiful in the wine world of Spain. However, I’m not going to start today’s Cork Talking about fizz – it’s perhaps not so well known, that these great names and this impressive company also make still wines.
Viñas de Anna Flor de Rosa 2015 comes in a shapely, transparent bottle which allows the consumer to see this charming and beautiful Provencal Rosé coloured Spanish rosado in all its glory. Readers will have already noticed, without my prompting, a definite trend towards rosados of this very pale pink colour. Just look on the wine shops’ shelves and you’ll see far more than we used to see in years gone by.
The Spanish wine fraternity is not slow to accommodate fashion and as rosé coloured wines have been to the fore internationally in recent years, Spanish producers have acted accordingly, though certainly without compromising quality. For me, this further illustrates that Spain has to be the world capital for rosé wine! An already extensive flavour, aroma and colour profile has been extended to accommodate more of these very pale offerings.
There’s a pale pink rose fragrance when this wine is poured which also develops into pink marshmallow and bubblegum aromas and then very quickly into delightful strawberry fruit first, with raspberry and red currant close behind. In seconds these primary, secondary and tertiary perfumes blend together producing such an aromatic whole that you just have to take a sip!
The varieties are Pinot Noir, which apart from the colour, adds a little red wine body and flavour, plus the Cataluña indigenous, Trepat, which adds fruit also, though slightly darker red fruit, like loganberry, as well as elegance to the wine on the palate.
Viñas de Anna Flor de Rosa is the first Codorníu still rosado wine – but I bet it won’t be the last! A super start.
Blanc de Blanc sparkling wines are those which are made exclusively from white wine grapes – in the case of Champagne, where the phrase was first coined, this essentially means Chardonnay. However, here in Spain the Blanc de Blanc Cava maker has more varieties with which to play! Whilst 70% of Anna de Codorníu Blanc de Blanc is indeed Chardonnay, there is also 15% Parellada as well as roughly 7% each of Macabeo and Xarel.lo. Although proportionally small, these three stalwarts of the Cava industry nevertheless make a significant contribution to the finished article.
So too do to the 15 months ‘en rima’ (bottle aging on the lees) which the Cava has undergone before its release onto the market. This therefore makes the wine a ‘Reserva’, so we can expect greater body and depth of flavour as well as the raison d’etre of sparkling wine – its clean freshness. Reserva style wines are also better to pair with various dishes too.
At 11º/litre of residual sugar, it’s at the top end of the Brut sugar spectrum (12º is maximum) so this Cava is going to particularly please those who find some Brut cavas to be a little too austere. It’s full in the mouth with a passing pineapple fruit note coming, of course from the Chardonnay.
An oft forgotten style of cava is the Dulce, or sweet, style. Well made sweet cava, like the Codorníu Dulce Anna, is not at all cloying. The same applies to dessert wines too. There is still acidity in this Anna which allows it to be served for those with a sweet tooth as perhaps an aperitif, but it really comes into its own when it’s paired, as it’s meant to be, with desserts. I enjoyed mine with Chocolate Cake – at midday too!
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Good news: the Fine Wine & Gourmet Dine Programme will return on Sunday 30th October, extended by popular demand from 18:00 – 20:00 hrs, Spanish Time, on Total FM 91.8 and online totalfm.es. Great wines, food, music and chat! Please join me and make your Sunday’s even better!