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03 October 2021

Bubbly of the moment: Cava

Frankly, almost always more interesting than Prosecco (unless you pay for some of the top names), here are five Catalan fizz favourites enjoyed in recent times.

Vilarnau Rosé Brut Reserva (12% abv) - Toasty, red-fruity and full-flavoured, this delicious Cava Rosado is based on Garnacha (Grenache) and Pinot Noir. Tesco was 'clearing' it out for £8 (it's gone already)... But you can get it elsewhere for £10-£12 e.g. Ocado, Noble Grape, Spirit Store, Cheers Wine Merchants, the Champagne Company. Try with smoked fish, goats' cheese or dark chocolate even. One criticism: ridiculous plastic film wrapping around the bottle, totally unrecyclable (apparently it's supposed to reflect a Gaudí design). What's wrong with paper?

Cava Brut Reserva Vintage 2018 (12% abv) - A classy member of Tesco's 'Finest' team produced by well-known quality Cava house Sevisa aka Segura Viudas based in Torrelavit in the Penedès hills (northwest of Barcelona), which is shaped by the traditional Catalan grapes Macabeu, Parellada and Xarello in addition to 'minimum of 15 months' ageing in contact with the (yeast) lees.' Enticing toasted almond notes, light and refreshing with nice dry finish. Quite serious Cava, definitely worth paying the not-much extra and reasonable price tag of £8.

Cava Brut Nature Vintage 2017 Reserva (12% abv) - This 'here's back at you' from Sainsbury's 'Taste the Difference' range is made this time from Chardonnay, Macabeu, Xarello and Parellada and also had 'at least 15 months' maturing in bottle on the yeast-lees. Similar to above although a touch richer and rounder with toasty marzipan notes and even drier finish, Brut 'Nature' meaning with no added sugar at all. Complex and stylish for £9.

Mas Miralda Vintage Brut - The latest vintages of Asda's poshest 'Extra Special' Cava duo are the Rosado 2018 and Reserva 2017 (both 12% abv), produced by Marqués de la Concordia Family of Wines. The rosado is perhaps crisper with red fruit and apple nuances, while the Reserva more biscuity and aged-tasting. Usually £8 each, the rosé is on offer at the moment for a bargain £6.50.

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.