Cava is a quality sparkling wine produced in the designated area of the Cava region in Spain. It’s produced using specific methods, by which the second fermentation and ageing process take place in the same bottle that you uncork. This allows the bubbles to be produced in a natural way, following traditional methods.
There are different types of Cava, which result from the length of time the wine is allowed to age during its second fermentation stage:
* Cava: a minimum of nine months ageing
* Cava Reserva: a minimum of 15 months ageing
* Cava Gran Reserva: a minimum of 30 months ageing
Cava’s can also be classified by their sugar content – the more sugar that is added to the wine, the sweeter it will be. The classifications can run as follows:
* Brut Nature: no added sugar
* Extra Brut: up to 6g of sugar per litre
* Brut: up to 15g of sugar per litre
* Extra Dry: 12 – 20g of sugar per litre
* Dry: 17 – 35g of sugar per litre
* Demisec: 33 – 50g of sugar per litre
* Sweet: More than 50g of sugar per litre
Cava grape varieties
Your glass of Cava is likely to be a blend of the following grape varieties. Keep an eye out on bottle labels if there’s a particular grape variety you love.
* Macabeo: This grape offers moderate acidity and alcohol content, and is light, fruity and floral when young. Delicately pearly with a light bouque.
* Xarel.lo:A well balanced grape that produces structured wines with good acidity, providing personality and aging potential.
* Parellada: Fruity, fresh and aromatic wines are produced from this grape. Its moderate acidity levels provide fragrance, freshness and life to young Cavas.
* Chardonnay: Balanced wines with body and strong aromas are produced from the likes of this grape. It’s good level of alcohol content gives Cavas staying power on the palette.
* Garnacha (Grenache): Balanced stable wines are produced from Garnacha grapes, with their rich alcohol levels and moderate acidity.
* Pinot Noir: This grape variety is aromatic and rich in alcohol. It is delicate in flavour with excellent acidity and alcohol balance.
* Monastrell (Mourvèdre): This grape has an intense colour and produces great, full-bodied Cavas. Its good alcohol content and balance between alcohol and acidity make it a well-balanced variety.
* Trepat: This variety is only used for making rosé Cavas. It’s moderate in alcohol content, with balanced acidity, light colour and little body.