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Winner Details

 Cava

2019  GOLD: 2     SILVER: 1              BRONZE: 1           COMMENDED: 0
2018  GOLD: 2     SILVER: 4              BRONZE: 2           COMMENDED: 1

We’d rather hoped that last year’s (surprise) record haul of eight medals – and rave reviews from the tasters – might herald the start of a Cavalution. But while it didn’t happen this year, at least the category didn’t sink without trace, and two Golds – one cheap and one well-priced (and surprisingly old) vintage – was a reasonable effort.

The challenge, perhaps, is how to sell it. The cheaper versions are battling head-on with the Beast from the Veneto, while the most upmarket offerings are squarely against the pale-skinned, high-cheekboned elegance of English fizz. Top-end pubs, our tasters concluded, are the answer.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘We don’t get much request for cava, although we did find one very good example here that showed richness, and that offered great value for money if a customer wanted something with some oxidative character. I think it could give some competition to champagne, and might attract customers as well.’ Matteo Cali, Savoy Grill

‘I love the concept of vintage cava as a step up.’ Tobias Gorn, Boisdale Restaurants

‘Spain is a holiday destination for British people, and they link cava with the sun and the sea, so we have to have it on a list, even if there’s a prosecco on the list at the same price.’ Chiara Sieni, Bottles Group

Award winners

Found 4 wines

Cava

CVNE, Roger Goulart, Cava Gran Reserva 2011, Catalonia, Spain

Gold medal winner

For Savoy Grill’s Matteo Cali this impressive Gold winner was ‘delicate on the nose, with white fruits on the palate, which has richness, and a creamy mousse’, while Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club appreciated its ‘gentle pear aromas, rosemary notes and refreshing apple on the palate, with a gentle finish’. Chiara Sieni of Bottles Group thought it was ‘a great price’, considering its ‘yeasty notes of bread integrated with honey and ripe fruit, as well as some apricot’.

£11.83 Hatch Mansfield

Carchelo, The Tapas Wine Collection, Cava Brut NV, Valencia, Spain

Gold medal winner

This bright and approachable Gold winner opened with ‘an intense nose of pear and apple, together with a round and creamy palate, making this a great value wine’, according to Matteo Cali of Savoy Grill, while Harry Ballmann of Wiltons found it ‘extremely refreshing, with blackcurrant leaf and apple notes’. Team leader Jade Koch added praise for its ‘really good acidity, with some grip too, leading to some good citrus weight to the finish’.

£8.25 Bodegas Carchelo

Parés Baltà, Blanca Cusiné, Cava Brut Nature 2011, Penedès, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Complex, and showing some development,’ began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, who went on to describe ‘roasted almond notes on the nose, which lead to honey and caramel on the toasty yet fresh palate’.

£20.73 Top Selection

Vallformosa, Mistinguett, Cava Brut NV, Penedès, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘Perfumed elderflower and lime zest aromas lead to tropical, pineapple notes on the palate, leading to a refreshing finish,’ said Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club.

£8.54 The Wine Rascals

 

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