Cava? What do I buy?

I have zero experience with Cava,but my wife tried it at dinner tonite and loved it.Which one to buy? Help a brutha out! [cheers.gif]

Best bargain is Cristalino. You can find it for $7 at Whole Foods/Mollie Stones/Trader Joes/BevMo/etc… type stores.

I really like the Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvée Brut which should be under $20/bottle. The Freixenet Reserva Real is also very good, but pricier.

On the “high end” (for Cava), look for Raventos i Blanc “L’Hereu” Reserva Brut Cava…I believe they make both a “vintage” and non-vintage wine, both are great. The actual “producer” is Josep Maria, I believe, but the front label really highlights the “Raventos i Blanc L’Hereu”…It’s about $20, and quite complex compared to the “value standbys” such as Cristalino, Freixenet, etc., etc.

Have you actually tried the Elyssia Gran Cuvée Brut and Reserva Real lines of Freixenet?

You know, aside from the “value standbuys”, Freixenet does make a few lines of “higher-end” vintage and non-vintage cavas. The Elyssia Gran Cuvée Brut is around US$20/bottle while the Reserva Real ranges from 25€-35€/bottle. Not expensive at all in terms of gross price, but those cost just as much and even significantly more than the cava you mentioned.

Freixenet’s vintage Cava Brut Nature is pretty good - I liked their 2004 - for its price of only around 11€/bottle, so cheaper than the Elyssia and Reserva Real.

I’ll second all the above picks on the higher end freixenets, and would definitley add the Marques de Gelida wines, esp their Rose!

I found the Juve y Camps to be solid. Has an toasty character you get in Champagne that is often missing in other sparkling wines.

I love the Bodegas Naveran Dama; about $20-25. It is mostly Chardonnay so it tastes a little more like Champagne, IMHO.

My personal favorite is Mas Tinell. Their NV Gran Reserva is a great value and their vintaged Cuvee Cristina is the best Cava I have had year in and year out. Tough to find in the US, but always available in Spain.

To add to John’s comments on Raventos i Blanc, I have found some of their extended lees aged l’Hereu wines to be quite nice. I’m not a fan of all the Raventos i Blanc wines, but the vintaged l’Hereu is nice. for a little more, I really enjoy the top end Elisabet and Manuel Cavas. The de Nit Rose is also a very good buy and a top rose Cava IMO.

At the $5-$8 price point, Cristalino and Segura Viudas are hard to beat and are terrific QPRs.

True dat. When I can find the Reserva for $7, I practically drink one a day!!

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions,found an 05 Marques de Gelida in So cal for $13 so I ordered a case,will be on the lookout for the others. [cheers.gif]

There is higher end stuf that I’m sure is a notch better but, if you try Cristalino you’ll be buying it often. I really like the extra dry which cost about 50 cents - $1 more than the Brut but shows more fruit. That said everything they do is $20+ worth of wine for $7. Rose, Brut, Extra Dry, its all good from Cristalino. My go to bubbly.

Cremona and German Gilabert have always been good for me (the former a little more rich). Juve Y Camps too.

I like the Juve Y Camps Cavas as well - and agree with the bargain offerings most posters here have mentioned -

But I think the best Cava producer in Spain is Agusti Torello Mata -

The upper tier stuff gets a bit pricey - but the regular Vintage Cava is dynamite - the current offering is the 2006 vintage - and it’s comparable with a lot of NV Champagnes - and should retail for around $16-$18 -

I have had great luck with Gramona Cava Grand Reserva. $30 price point. I think it may be an Eric Solomon wine.

Big fan of Avinyo.

Another big vote for the Raventos i Blanc. I have found that `07 downtown after sampling with the rep a few weeks ago. Ouch, $27 Cdn but feel worth it.

Thanks for all of the recommendations, lots of new ones to try! Agree with Thomas’s recommendations. I also like Jure y Camps as a $15 bargain. Augusti Torello Mata is perhaps a step up for his vintage cava. And his 2003 Kripta is the best sparkling wine I’ve had outside of champagne. It’s in the $70-80 range and can compete with champagnes of comparable price. Some unusual flavors (at least for me) in champagne, vanilla and chocolate overtones.



We had the

Veleta Mist Sparkling Rosé Brut NV

at Thanksgiving. Really nice stuff, a big hit! Great QPR @ $13 (PM Nola Palomar for how to get it).

Llopart Leopardi Brut Nature or Brut Rose’.
Both are vintage and they’re both awesome and under $20.