Spanish Wine Review: Raventós i Blanc de Nit Cava

by mary on August 12, 2013

Raventos i Blanc de Nit: lovely rosado Spanish cava

Spanish Cava is a bit on the outs here in the US and it’s a great shame. The recent cava appellation controversy has led to mixed messages and there has been a perception of reduced quality. Prosecco is everywhere, yet I would definitely question the quality of most of it. There is a lot of mediocre cava out there and it sucks that it is ruining the reputation of the rest. It’s a shame because it is such a great Spanish wine and there are so many good producers. Rosado, or rosé cava has been a trickier category…growing but very inconsistent. The best and the best value for years has been the Raventós i Blanc de Nit….so drinkable, yet super food friendly, great in every season. Not only my favorite rosado cava, one of my favorite everyday sparkling wines in general!

If you are looking for a great cava at less than 10$, you’re unlikely to find one. Drinkable ones, plenty. Perfect for making mimosas and such…. The sweet spot is 10-20€ or 15-30$, where you can find some really nice cavas that offer great value for money. These wines many times are a lot better than the basic cuvées of many major champagne houses that go for 50$!

Lots of favorite wines in this category, including this de Nit, which retails for about 13€ in Spain or 20$ in the US.

Above this range there are some truly great cavas from such houses as Gramona and Recaredo, special cavas that can compete head to head with champagne in a blind tasting and win! Expensive, complex, fine wines. Wines for another post….

The de Nit 2010 is made of the three traditional cava varieties, Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada, with a little red Monastrell added in. It is aged at least 15 months on lees before degorgement and release which maintains its fruity character, but also rounds out the edges and makes the wine harmonious. The nose has very pretty red fruit aromas, the mouth is surprisingly fresh and citric, though the red fruits carry on through, especially on the long finish. Many rosado cavas are a bit heavy-handed but this retains all the elegance of the Raventos i Blanc white cavas with an elegant and pretty layer of red fruit added in from the Monastrell.

Raventós i Blanc de Nit: lovely rosado Spanish cava

So easy to polish off a bottle!

De Nit, which means “of the night” in Catalan, is a great wine for just sipping….it’s so easy to polish off a bottle with friends! But it’s such a versatile cava, the combination of freshness and light red fruit aromas make it a great food matching wine. It still matches with many lighter foods that cava traditionally matches with, seafood, lighter cheeses, but it can also handle some heartier fare, salads, grilled seafood, paellas…many things you would put a rosé wine with.

It’s a vintage cava, but released in most years, so you can look for the 2009, 2010 and even the 2011 on the market. De Nit is a dry Brut cava with a low residual sugar from the dosage of about 7.5 gr/l.

Try this cava and you will rethink cava as a cheap cocktail mixer. I just tasted the Perrier-Jouët rosé champagne this week and it was very nice…well-balanced, fruit forward style of rosé champagne….for at least 70$! I’ll take my de Nit any day for its charm, quality and value!

 

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