New Cava classification announced

New Cava classification announced

Cavas de Paraje Calificado

Mid July has just seen the announcement by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing, Food and Environment in Spain of 12 “Grand Cru” sites to be recognized under Cava DO, Cava de Paraje Calificado.

It is intended these site-specific wines will be the pinnacle of the appellation and differentiated from Gran Reservas which are not. These are just regulated by ageing periods and whether the wine is dry, vintage and so on. The Paraje Calficado wines though will be subject the strictest requirements yet from the DO and it is hoped will help in building Cava as a purveyor of not just fine but great sparkling wines in the minds of consumers. The requirements as well as coming from a specific Paraje requires that the wines come from a yield of not more than 48 hl/ha, have a minimum 36 months ageing, are dry in style and are solely vintage bottlings.

The Cava brand has suffered in recent years, certainly in the UK in comparison with affordable Prosecco. The majority of drinkers have regarded it as cheap and hopefully cheerful but far from outstanding. This is far from being the case with the top producers but its not that easy to get the message across. As a result of this a number of bodegas are considering leaving, or have left the DO. The best though are very good and offer genuinely interesting alternatives to Champagne. They can often show more terroir character as well, with a combination of fruit, evolved yeast flavours and an underlying minerality.

These are 12 Cava de Paraje Calificado sites and the sites owners:

Vinyes de Can Martí – Torelló
Turó d’en Mota – Recaredo
Serral del Vell – Recaredo
Vallcirera – Alta Alella
La Capella – Juvé i Camps
Can Sala – Freixenet
La Pleta – Codorníu
El Tros Nou – Codorníu
La Fideuera – Codorníu
Can Prats – Vins el Cep
Font de Jui – Gramona
Terroja – Castellroig

It should be noted that more than one wine can be released from a site and that some exceptional wines are already released from these sites.

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