Gramona follows Champagne with R.D. Cava

1st May, 2014 by Lucy Shaw

Family-owned Cava producer Gramona is aiming to compete with top-end Champagnes with the release of a recently disgorged 14-year-old Gran Reserva.

Xavier Gramona

Xavier Gramona

Just 1,500 bottles of Gramona Enoteca Finca La Plana Gran Reserva Brut 2000 have been released, with a pricetag of €125 a bottle. Due to limited stock, the fizz will remain within the domestic market in Spain.

Following the Bollinger R.D. model, a sticker on the front of the bottle highlights the fact that the wine was disgorged in 2013.

Rather than using Champagne grapes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Enoteca is a blend of 70% Xarel.lo and 30% Macabeo – two of the three key grapes used in Cava production.

Enoteca

Enoteca Finca La Plana Gran Reserva Brut 2000

All of the grapes used in the blend hail from a single site in Penedès – Finca La Plana – owned by the Gramona family.

The high percentage of Xarel.lo was selected for the blend by owner Xavier Gramona specifically for its ageing potential.

“Xarel.lo has the highest levels of resveratrol of any white grape and higher levels than Pinot Noir, which makes it the perfect grape for sparkling wines designed to age,” Gramona told the drinks business during a visit to Penedès this week.

In his quest for quality, he has enlisted the help of French soil experts Claude and Lydia Bourguignon to advise on how to get the best out of his terroir.

One of his recent discoveries with the Bourguignons is that after 40 years, vines are unable to offer the sufficient nitrogen levels needed for autolysis.

Keen to make world class Cava that can compete with the top Champagnes, Gramona believes the thread that unifies great sparkling wine is extended ageing.

Gram

“If you look at the top sparkling wines of the world, all of the icons spend at least a decade in the cellar before they are released,” he told the drinks business.

“For a fizz to reach its full flavour potential it has to spend an extended time in contact with the lees. Around 80% of a sparkling wine’s flavour profile comes from this contact with the yeast.

“We don’t do malolactic fermentation as we don’t have the sufficient acidity levels to do so, and yet our Cavas boast the creamy notes usually found from that process because after around seven years of ageing, the yeasts naturally imbue lactic notes in the wine.

“Extended ageing in contact with the yeast also gives balsamic notes without the need for oak,” he added.

Gramona stressed the importance for Cava producers to focus on quality, though admitted that his business model was made easier by being a family-owned company.

“In order to make complex Cavas you need to think longterm, which requires time, money and self belief. It helps that we’re a family company,” he said, adding that a lot of Cava producers struggle to get their dosage levels right.

“Dosage should be treated like perfume – you only need to add a little to enhance the wine’s attractiveness. It’s alchemy that is never taught,” he said.

An Extra Brut version of Enoteca Finca La Plana Gran Reserva is due for release later this year.

Gramona produces around 600,000 bottles of Cava a year, the majority of which are Reserva and Gran Reservas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

European Brands Sales Manager, Field Sales Managers and Executives

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, Brighton, E Sussex/Kent, Cornwall & Devon, GB

Commercial/Sales Manager

Crush Wines Ltd
Bremhill/Home office, GB

Wine Buyer

Adnams
Southwold, UK

Sales Manager - Scotland

Eurowines Ltd
Scotland

Sales Manager - North-West England

Eurowines Ltd
North-West England, UK

Sales Manager - London

Eurowines Ltd
London, UK

Key Account Manager - Grocery

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Key Accounts Manager - Impulse

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Business Development Manager

Regency Wines Ltd
North Devon & Somerset, UK

Sales Manager - North East England

Eurowines Ltd
Within 15-20 mile radius of York, UK

National Account Manager

Ehrmanns Wines
London, UK

London Account Manager

The Drinks Club
London, UK

London Sales Executive

Gourvid Limited
London and Greater London, GB

Logistics Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
Park Royal, London, UK

Head of Sales - Hush Heath Estate

Hush Heath Estate
Kent/ London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 3rd May 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more