Our best sparkling wine of 2020

The judging has been concluded for this year’s Global Sparkling Wine Masters, taking in hundreds of samples from all major fizz-making areas of the world, meaning that we can now reveal the best single bottle of bubbly for 2020.

After two days spent assessing samples from a broad array of places in one of the biggest sparkling wine tastings in the world – and the only one to sample all types of fizz side by side with no knowledge as to source region or producer – we have a winner.

This bottle wowed the judges for its depth of flavour and layers of complementary characters, leading it to gain the highest set of scores from our tasters, all of whom awarded it close to a maximum of 100 points, elevating it to the status of Sparkling Wine Master 2020.

So what was it? It was an outstanding Cava from the cellar of Can Sala, which is owned by the Ferrer family – the founders of Freixenet (and current owners of 43% of the Henkell-Freixenet group).

Crucially, Can Sala is dedicated to producing just one prestige cuvée vintage expression of sparkling wine, which is aged on its lees for a minium of seven years.

As one of the first names in the region of Cava to take on the top classification of Cava de Paraje Calificado, it is a great product from top vineyards in this Spanish sparkling wine area, and, due to the intensity of the fizz, and the richness imparted by the lengthy ageing process, it is sold with no dosage – in other words, no sugar is added to the wine, meaning it is a Brut Nature.

As for the character of the Can Sala 2008, it is a magnificent creamy-textured fizz with layers of flavour from fresh apple to ripe nectarine and lemon zest, toast and roasted nuts, with a refreshing dry, chalky sensation on the finish, lifted by tangy acidity that tastes like fine shavings of citrus peel.

In short, this is a fantastic sparkling wine that proves the quality potential of Cava. So, the next time you go in search of something seriously indulgent in the world of fizz, don’t forget the options available in Spain, and the excellence of Can Sala.

The facts: Can Sala Cava Gran Reserva Brut Nature, 2008

  • Approximate retail price: £70
  • Country: Spain
  • Region: Cava, Penedès, Barcelona
  • Dosage: Brut nature (less than 3g/l residual sugar)
  • Production: less than 20,000 bottles annually
  • Time on lees: Seven years
  • Vintage: 2008
  • Grapes: Parellada (50%), Xarello (50%)
  • Abv: 12.5%
  • Closure: Agglomerated cork
  • Medal: Sparking Wine Master 2020

About The Global Sparking Wine Masters

With high quality judges and a unique sampling process, the Global Sparkling Wine Masters provides a chance for your wines to star, whether they hail from the great vineyards of Europe or lesser-known winemaking areas of the world.

The 2020 competition was judged over two days last month in London, employing experienced sparkling wine specialists and Masters of Wine, who were: Patrick Schmitt MW, Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW, and Simon Field MW,

A full report on the competition including all the medal winners will appear in the August edition of the drinks business.

Please visit The Global Masters website for more information, or please call +44 (0)20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at: sophie@thedrinksbusiness.com

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