14-07-2017

The list of the first qualified Cava de Paratge vineyards & their wines

For some time there has been a lot of information floating around about the forthcoming Cava de Paratge (Spanish: Cava de Paraje) qualification for specific vineyards and parcels within the boundaries of DO Cava. If you’re not sure what a “paratge” (pron. pa-RA-cha) is, please read up to better understand where they’re trying to come from on this.

Essentially, it seems that the wines were going to come on to the market at the end of last year, but these things are bureaucratic and thus it took longer for it to come about. In the meantime there was no official list of the Cavas that were going to gain the certification, just those that applied and from last year until now, the list has changed a little but finally, this past June 12th, they have announced the 12 paratges that are fully certified to meet the regulations as well as a tasting panel.

This isn’t going to be easy to understand as the name of the paratge is not always the name of the wine, so below I’ve listed the paratge along with the commercial wine produced from it if the name is different. Also note that in some cases there are actually several wines from a single zone, making for 16 wines from 12 certified paratges.

  • Vinyes de Can Martí – Torelló: Gran Torelló, 225
  • Turó d’en Mota – Recaredo
  • Serral del Vell – Recaredo: Brut de Brut (may change)
  • Vallcirera – Alta Alella: Mirgin Gran Reserva, Mirgin Opus Evolutium
  • La Capella – Juvé i Camps
  • Can Sala – Freixenet: Casa Sala
  • La Pleta – Codorníu
  • El Tros Nou – Codorníu
  • La Fideuera – Codorníu
  • Can Prats – Vins el Cep: Claror
  • Font de Jui – Gramona: III Lustros, Celler Batlle, Enoteca
  • Terroja – Castellroig: Reserva de la Familia

As anyone can readily see, this is a rather confusing situation. I’ve nearly finished tasting all of the wines in this category and most of the producers told me that their labels will be changing if for no other reason than to add the qualification. Some names may be adapted to make it easier to understand to the end consumer. It’s also important to note that in tasting these wines, which at the time included all who had applied, I’ve seen that they were coming in two variants: those of exceptional quality for the region and those that were just “normal”. I’m impressed by the fact that indeed some of those that didn’t make the grade in terms of profile weren’t give the qualification.

At the moment, despite how long this has taken to come to market, it seems that DO Cava is quite serious about maintaining this as a high-level qualification that shows both a single zone (again, paratge isn’t single vineyard) as well as some of the best wines from within the DO.

As I’ve been researching all of this for a much larger article it has taken on me on interesting journey to see that there has been a great deal of interpretation as to what this is going to be. Now that we’ve finally arrived at the point of saying “these are the first paratges” we’ll see where it goes from here. Break open the bubbly!

WINES

Ancestral Wine Cellar - Khikhvi 2014 95
First harvest of Khikhvi. Light apricot notes, peach skin, lemon peel. Citric in the mouth, fresh, lively acidity, vibrant. Very holistic, full and deliciously good.
100% Khikhvi · 12% · 30GEL
95 3 Stars

Petriaant Marani - Khikhvi 2015 94
Bruised red apple, touch of lemon peel, limestone minerality, and some white pepper notes at the back of it. High acidity and full in the mouth. Luscious, involving, elegant wine.
100% Khikhvi · 14% · 25GEL
94 3 Stars

Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Blanc 2016 93
Lemon and white peach, strong kick of salinity, and toasted notes. Very fleshy and full on the palate, peach notes more prominent as well as Meyer lemon, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish.
100% Grenache Gris · 14.5% · 20EUR
93 2 Stars

AA Badenhorst - Secateurs Red Blend 2012 93
Forest bramble with ripe red fruit, touches of cherry, ripe red plum, tiny bit of prune, cumin, anise, black licorice, wet cement mineral note, underlying fig jam. Crisp medium plus acidity, medium tannins, medium plus length, medium alcohol, overall medium plus body that’s ripe and lively but super fresh and balanced at the same time. Bit of rugged wildness to it but doesn’t get out of hand. Easy to drink but with just enough underlying complexity so that it stays interesting.
56% Syrah 27% Cinsaut 6% Grenache 4% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% "Others" · 13.5% · 12EUR
93 2 Stars

Domaine Treloar - Motus 2015 93
Dark ruby, minor rim. Big, mighty bouquet of red cherry and other brambly forest fruit, vanilla, almond blossom, orange peel, and cocoa. Rich and full on the palate with a wealth of tannins still integrating, leading into a crunchy, lingering finish.
80% Mourvèdre 10% Syrah 10% Grenache · 14% · 14EUR
93 2 Stars

Domaine of the Bee - Cuvée 2015 93
Ruby with minor garnet rim. Rich red fruits with an underpinning of ripe plum, orange peel, licorice, cocoa. Broad, round tannins with a touch of toast and sweet cocoa in a long finish. Manages to stay very light on the palate despite the higher alcohol.
50% Grenache 50% Carignan · 15% · 25EUR
93 2 Stars

Tchotiashvili - Khikhvi 2014 93
Apricot, yellow peach, orange peel, and a touch of honey. Quite complex aromatically. Orchard fruit much more prevalent in the mouth with young apricot notes. Rich and elegant, touch of astringency in the finish.
100% Khikhvi · 13.1% · 28GEL
93+ 3 Stars

Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Rouge 2015 92
Medium ruby. Fresh red cherry, raspberry, and young strawberry, lifted and breathy, saline tinge along with light stoniness and rosemary and garrigue. Fresh red fruit on the palate, medium acidity but still light on the palate, fresh, and while the alcohol sticks out a little, holds and excellent, long finish.
Grenache Carignan Mourvèdre · 14.5% · 20EUR
92 2 Stars

Domaine Fontanel - Prieuré 2014 92
Dense ruby with brick flecks. Crisp red fruits, lifted by a waft of volatility making for a light nose with a spicy licorice and leather component. Crisp and lively with red cherry fruit in the mouth and a nudge over medium acidity. Nice, lingering finish.
50% Syrah 25% Grenache 25% Mourvèdre · 14.5%
92 2 Stars

Cave Abbé Rous - Cornet & Cie Blanc 2016 92
Peach, orange peel & blossom, honey, dried apricot, and a hint of green apple. Very nicely balance in the mouth, green apple notes more prevalent, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish. Fresh, lively, very pleasing wine to drink.
60% Grenache Gris 25% Grenache Blanc 5% Marsanne 5% Roussanne 5% Vermentino · 14.5%
92 2 Stars