Cava is one of the most underrated sparkling wines, with the best Cavas rivalling Champagne and other top fizz. Fresh and vibrant when young, gathering complexity with age, it offers seriously good value for money.
Those who make Cava have the option of using Spanish indigenous grapes such as Macebeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo, although some prefer to use those used in Champagne – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – for a little more French character.
Cava is made in the same way as Champagne, but while many people think it has to be made in Catalonia, it can made throughout Spain, with no geographical restrictions – unlike in Champagne, whose vineyard area is tightly controlled. That said, those who regulate Cava have expressed an interest in tightening up the rules and introducing a series of regulated regions.
Not only that, but it was announced last year that all top-tier Cavas – those labelled Reserva, Gran Reserva and Paraje Calificado – must be 100% organic by 2025.
Cava performed well at this year’s IWSC, picking up a host of Silver medals. Topping the list is Roger Goulart Josep Valls Gran Reserva Extra Brut 2017, which scored an impressive 91/100. ‘Tart, fresh green apple zings across the palate on a rush of tingling bubbles,’ said the judges.
Each Cava entered in this year’s IWSC was judged blind by an expert panel including sparkling wine specialist Essi Avellan MW, wine buyer for Oddbins Ana Sapungiu MW, and David Round MW, former head of wine at Pix.
Cava has made great strides in recent years, and is making a concerted effort to take on Champagne at its own game. We are proud to present the pick of the best Cavas from this year’s IWSC.
HOW DO WE JUDGE THESE WINES?
We run a tightly structured, rigorous wine tasting process. That means that each wine sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC wine judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the wine industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.
HOW DO WE SCORE THESE WINES?
Only the best wines sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, wines have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.
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