First things first: The super premium Cava category created a year ago is called Cava Paraje Calificado (CPC). CPC sparklers must be sourced from single vineyards that are at least ten year old with limited yields from those vineyards. They must also be estate bottled and vintage dated with thirty-six months aging on the lees. They also must be fermented dry, resulting in at least a brut classification, if not extra-brut or brut nature.
Last time we said only two percent of Cava produced was Gran Reserva quality. CPCs should be a likewise miniscule percentage of that two percent. Retails of a hundred dollars a bottle should be common.
CPC wine is blind tasted by a panel before its second fermentation and then blind tasted again after the bubbles are added. The panel judges whether the wine conforms to the standard they set yet still shows the individuality of its terroir. Last year, the first for this Cava category, only twelve wines qualified. This year that number should double or triple.
Whether or not hundred dollar Cava is viable in the marketplace will be determined by discriminating Champagne connoisseurs with the pocketbooks to qualify. Fine wine has its price; that is, unless the wine is the 2013 Clos Pissarra, the big fat Spanish red we've been selling here for the past month. Unlike similar efforts out of California, the complexity of Pissarra is built into its structure and like all European wine, that structure is tied to its terroir. For Pissarra the breeding emanates from the Priorat/Montsant region. Like truly great Euro-wine, with decanting (or a lot of patience in the glass) this one delivers voluptuously. Short of tasting it for yourself, go to miuravineyards.com for the Pissarra lowdown.
Next Thursday the 14th at 5pm Adam Bess joins us for a tasting of red wines from Opolo Vineyards of Paso Robles and a particularly nice Italian Soave. Then on the 21st Cheri Rubio tastes us on new red, white and rose Spanish wines. On the 28th Morgan Miller brings us a tasting of as-yet-to-be-determined wines from his fine portfolio. Please join us for the tastings!