Bellendaas a wine distributor and not just a winery author of a prosecco millesimato during its annual event Blend - oenological symmetries - presented to an audience of journalists and Ho.Re.Ca. operators the Quarry D.O. of the cellar Pere Ventura. A fascinating masterclass to taste different expressions of the Cava Spanish classic method sparkling wine which is gaining more and more market share for its competitive quality.

Cava Spanish sparkling wine: some notes on the appellation

In order to enjoy the Masterclass, it is essential to prepare oneself on the appellation so as to be aware of what to expect from each label. Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine produced using the classic method in the regions of Catalonia, of theAragon, of theExtremadura, La Rioja and the Navarre. It is elaborated with indigenous grape varieties macabeus, parellada e xarel-lo with possibly the international grape variety chardonnay. With regard to classification according to residual sugar, Cava is in line with Italian sparkling wines. One has:

  • brut natureup to 3 g/l sugar;
  • extra brutup to 6 g/l sugar;
  • brutup to 12 g/l sugar;
  • extra seco12 g/l to 17 g/l sugar;
  • seco17 g/l to 32 g/l sugar;
  • dry seeds32 g/l to 50 g/l sugar;
  • dulce+ 50 g/l sugar.

There are two types of Cava Spanish sparkling wine:

  • D.O. Cava - Cava de Guardaminimum 9 months of ageing on the lees. Crisp, vertical, floral, fruity and citric, it is perfect as an aperitif.
  • D.O. Cava - Cava de Guarda Superior: Complex, fruity, roasted, fresh, creamy, gastronomic, it is perfect for the whole meal. There are 3 types of Cava de Guarda Superior. Cava de Guarda Superior Reserva (at least 18 months of ageing on the lees), Cava de Guarda Superior Gran Reserva (at least 30 months of ageing on the lees) and Cava de Paraje Calificado (at least 36 months of ageing on the lees and comes from a terroir with exceptional quality).

Cava Rosado can belong to any of these types. For certain, it is always produced from monastrell, garnacha, trepat and pinot noir with brief contact with the skins.

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Cava Spanish sparkling wine: Pere Ventura's Masterclass at Blend 2024

Tasting #1: Cava D.O. Primer Reserva BrutPere Ventura

40% Xarel-lo, 40% Parellada and 20% Macabeu | 11.5% vol | 12 g/l sugar | € 17

It is straw yellow with greenish highlights and a fine, very numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is delicate and elegant with notes of caraway and cedar grass. In the mouth it is crisp, consistent, savoury, structured and with a great acidic backbone. It lacks a little length. It cleans the mouth nicely and is perfect for degreasing fried food. One does not feel the 12 g/l residual sugar at all.

Cava Spanish sparkling wine pear Ventura

Tasting #2: Cava D.O. Gran Tesor Brut Nature 2019, Pere Ventura +

40% Xarel-lo, 40% Parellada and 20% Macabeu | 11.5% vol | at least 36 months on the lees | disgorgement December 2023 | 0 g/l sugar | € 20

It is a fairly deep and brilliant straw yellow with a very fine, very numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is intense and elegant with notes of caraway, bergamot tea, candied lemon marmalade, rhubarb and butter. In the mouth it enters crisp, very savoury, structured, broad and long. Great acid shoulder, dry and well balanced. Not dosed.

Cava Spanish sparkling wine pear Ventura

Tasting #3: Cava D.O. Vintage Gran Reserva Brut 2016, Pere Ventura ❤️❤️+

60% xarel-lo, 40% chardonnay | 11.5% vol | at least 43 months on the lees | disgorgement June 2023 | 7 g/l sugar | € 40

It is bright straw yellow with a very fine, numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is intense and elegant with very spicy notes of pastry and a hint of oxidation. In the mouth it is consistent, crisp, very savoury, structured, with a great acidic backbone and a long finish. Excellent value for money.

Cava Spanish sparkling wine pear Ventura

Tasting #4: Gran Vintage Paraje Calificado Can Bas Brut 2015, Pere Ventura ❤️❤️❤️

50% xarel-lo, 50% macabeu | 12% vol | at least 43 months on the lees | disgorgement November 2023 | 4 g/l sugar | € 76

It is straw yellow and brilliant with a very fine, numerous and persistent perlage. The nose enters delicate and elegant with notes of butter, custard, zabaglione, both fresh and candied orange peel and vanilla. On the palate it enters crisp, very fresh, savoury, very structured and its excellent ability to cleanse the mouth melds with great length. Outstanding.

Cava Spanish sparkling wine pear Ventura

Tasting #5: Tresor Cuvée Barrique Gran Reserve 2019 Brut, Pere Ventura

60% xarel-lo, 40% chardonnay | 12% vol | at least 43 months on the lees | disgorgement November 2023 | 4.5 g/l sugar | € 25

It is bright straw yellow with a fine, numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is delicate with notes of vanilla, white chocolate. In the mouth it enters crisp and with a ripe banana note that I did not appreciate. Savoury, structured and with an almost salty finish. I didn't like it, that banana note I detect is typical of chardonnay when it has suffered the heat in an overly hot year.

Cava Spanish sparkling wine pear Ventura

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Cava Spanish sparkling wine: on the wine list yes or no?

When the sommelier has to draw up the wine list, he has to do some deep thinking, especially with regard to sparkling wines and foreign wines. One starts with the type of restaurant and the target clientele, because it is pointless to put wines that are not aligned with the clientele. Wine, in fact, can be a source of great profit or great loss for a restaurant and the sommelier must not fall into the trap of pandering to his ego and making an intriguing and/or flamboyant wine list if the wines are then left to age in the cellar (too long). Similarly, the sommelier must sign the wine list by giving it a personal touch, so playing on sparkling wines even outside the more famous Champagne AOC can be a good idea. The Cava D.O. is a proposal in line with the times: Spanish wines appeal to a varied public of enthusiasts and non enthusiasts alike, and especially in Catalonia there is a long tradition of sparkling wines that makes it possible to offer quality wines such as these of Pere Ventura distributed by Bellenda.

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