Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pere Ventura Cava - A Beautiful Sparkling Wine for $15

Cava is the popular and very well-priced Spanish sparkling wine which is similar to Champagne in production and aging but made with indigenous grapes. The most noble grape, Xarello (say "Cha - reh- lo") is the bones, or the structure, while Macabeo is the meat or flesh. Parellada comes into the mix, as well as the four allowed red grapes for Rose production - Monastrell, Garnacha, Pinot Noir and Trepat.

Our host, Pere Ventura, opened his namesake winery in 1992 in homage to his ancestors - his great-grandfather Manuel Montserrat Font helped produce the first bottles of Cava made in the Traditional, or Champagne method (second fermentation in bottle and extended lees aging). Pere was on the verge of becoming a Priest when he realized his true calling - producing one of Spain's greatest Cava's.

I enjoy sparkling wine at least once a week, if not more, and quite often it is Cava, so when I put my nose into the Pere Venture Tresor Reserva Cava $14.99 I expected the usual chalk, lemon, and quinine notes. What I got, however, was a symphony of minerality - chalk, slate, and sea salt, that, along with lemon rind, quince and soft floral notes, melded together like silk. This Cava is one of the best I have tasted recently - delicate, nuanced, and layered with a definite sense of its origin.

The tasting was held by importer Palm Bay International at Hakkasan in San Francisco. Delicious dishes included Scallop shumai, Har gau, Shanghai siew long bao, Crispy silver cod with superior soy sauce, and Sanpei claypot chicken with Thai sweet basil.
© Copyright 2014 Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis, Planet Grape LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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