D4 Sparkling: Cava Flashcards Preview

WSET® Level 4 D4 Sparkling Wine > D4 Sparkling: Cava > Flashcards

Flashcards in D4 Sparkling: Cava Deck (69)
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1
Q

Who are the two biggest producers of Cava?

A
  1. Freixenet (Ferrer family)
  2. Codorníu (Raventós family)
2
Q

When did the word Cava first come into use, then into law, and in what year did it gain PDO status?

A
  • Started being used – 1960s
  • Law – 1972
  • PDO status – 1989 (named after the wine rather than place)
3
Q

Because the Cava PDO status protects the name of the wine (and not the place), what is distinctive to Cava production?

A

Grapes are allowed to be sourced from a number of separate, different, unconnected areas and blended together.

4
Q

What body oversees Cava?

A

Consejo Regulador del Cava

5
Q

More than 95% of all grapes grown for Cava are grown where?

A

Penedès in Catalunya

6
Q

After Penedès, what two other areas in Spain are important for Cava production?

A
  1. Lleida
  2. Tarragona
7
Q

What are the three main grapes that go into Cava?

A
  1. Macabeo
  2. Xarel-lo
  3. Parellada
8
Q

Which white grape variety is increasingly being used in Cava production?

A

Chardonnay

9
Q

What’s the one Spanish grape not allowed in Cava?

A

Tempranillo

10
Q

What is the predominant climate of Penedès?

A

Mediterranean

  • Bright, sunny summers
  • Mild winters
  • Moderate rainfall (540 mm) spread over the year
11
Q

What are the altitude ranges of Penedès?

A
  1. Most vineyards are 200-300m above sea level;
  2. A few are 700-800m above sea level (greater diurnal range which leads to brighter acidity and more intense flavors).
12
Q

What are the soils of Penedès, and what makes them suitable for viticulture?

A
  • Lower elevation (200-300m asl) = alluvial + clay
  • Higher elevation (700-800m asl) = stony clay + granite

Penedès’ soils are poor in nutrients, and have adequate drainage and water retention, making them suitable for viticulture.

13
Q

What are the two principal towns of Penedès?

A
  1. San Sadurní d’Anoia
  2. Vilafranca del Penedès (Consejo headquartered here)
14
Q

What is the elevation range of Lleida (Catalan) / Lérida (Spanish)?

A

100-700m above sea level

Grapes tend to have riper fruit flavors grown at lower altitudes, and fresher flavors with higher acidity at higher altitudes.

15
Q

What are the climates of Lleida province?

A
  • Mediterranean at lower elevations
  • Increasing Continental influences at higher elevations
16
Q

Lleida is:

  • irrigated with water from the Pyrenées
  • irrigated with water from the Mediterranean
  • not irrigated
A

Irrigated with water from the Pyrenées

This water is also used for frost protection in the spring.

17
Q

The Raventós family, which owns Codorníu, owns this large, single-vineyard estate in Lleida that’s making still wines.

What grape is the family pioneering here and using in their still and sparkling wines?

A
  • Raimat
  • Chardonnay
18
Q

What is the climate of Tarragona?

A

Mediterranean

  • Tarragona is a low-lying area
19
Q

Which grape dominates Cava from Tarragona?

Is the style of Cava from Tarragona meant for early drinking or for aging?

A
  • Macabeo
  • Early drinking because of Mediterranean climate and no elevation to provide cooler temperatures
20
Q

What is Trepat?

A

A red grape variety grown in Tarragona that’s increasingly being used to make Cava Rosado.

21
Q

What area in northern Spain is becoming increasingly important for sparkling wine?

Hint: it’s protected by the Cantabrian Mountains.

A

Rioja

22
Q

What makes Rioja Alta well suited for sparkling wine production?

A

High altitude (425m above sea level), which lends higher acidity

23
Q

What are the only two grape varieties used in Rioja for Cava production?

A
  1. Macabeo (known locally as Viura)
  2. Chardonnay
24
Q

Of the vineyards registered for Cava, what percent is planted to:

  • Macabeo
  • Xarel-lo
  • Parellada
  • Chardonnay
A
  • Macabeo - 37%
  • Xarel-lo - 26%
  • Parellada - 19%
  • Chardonnay - 9%
25
Q

What are the planting elevations for:

  • Macabeo
  • Xarel-lo
  • Parellada
A
  • Macabeo - 100 - 300m above sea level
  • Xarel-lo - sea level - 400m
  • Parellada - around 500m (highest)
26
Q

What are the budding times for:

  • Macabeo
  • Xarel-lo
  • Parellada
A
  • Macabeo - late budding
  • Xarel-lo - mid-budding
  • Parellada - early budding (prone to spring frost)
27
Q

Which Cava grape variety is picked first and which variety is picked last?

A

Picked first = Macabeo

Picked last = Parellada (it needs a long growing season)

28
Q

Which two Cava grape varieties are indigenous to Catalunya?

A
  1. Xarel-lo
  2. Parellada
29
Q

Of the three main Cava grape varieties, which one is the highest yielding?

A

Macabeo

30
Q

What are the aromas and flavors that Macabeo adds to Cava?

A

Apples and lemons

31
Q

What are the aromas and flavors that Xarel-lo adds to Cava?

A

Fennel, herbs, gooseberry, greengage (a sub-species of plum)

32
Q

What are the aromas and flavors that Parellada adds to Cava?

A

Floral notes

33
Q

What characteristics does Chardonnay add to Cava?

A
  • Finesse
  • Body
  • Richness
34
Q

What are the four black grapes used in Cava production?

A
  1. Garnacha Tinta
  2. Trepat
  3. Pinot Noir
  4. Monastrell - not widely used
35
Q

Why is Garnacha Tinta being used less in Cava production?

A

It oxidizes easily

36
Q

When you see a Cava Blanc de Noirs, what is the grape almost always going to be?

A

Pinot Noir

37
Q

What is the maximum yield for Cava?

A

12,000kg per ha

38
Q

What is the typical planting density for Cava?

A

Low-density planting (1,500-3,000 vines per ha)

39
Q

What is the typical trellising used for Cava varieties?

A
  1. Bush vines
  2. Single or double cordon
40
Q

Is irrigation permitted for Cava?

A

Yes, but it’s used only to relieve hydric stress – it cannot be used to increase yields.

41
Q

Cava rootstocks are selected for tolerance to ____.

Why?

A

Lime

To control vigor

42
Q

Catalunya can get misty and humid.

What threats arise from these conditions and how do winemakers manage them?

A

Threats

  • Downy + powdery mildew
  • Botrytis

Management

  • Copper and sulfur treatments
  • Closely manage the canopy (e.g. remove leaves to help air circulation).
43
Q

Cava growers now check grapes’ gluconic acid values.

What does a high gluconic acid value indicate?

A

Botrytis infection

If this value is too high, those grapes will be rejected.

44
Q

Cava producers are allowed to either hand harvest or machine harvest their grapes, but the vast majority will ____ harvest.

A

Hand harvest, in particular those of high quality

45
Q

Cava grapes are typically crushed using a Coquard press or pneumatic press?

A

Pneumatic press

46
Q

Cava Rosados must be a minimum of ___% black grapes.

A

25%

47
Q

How are Cava Rosados made pink?

A

By contact with the skins (rather than blending)

48
Q

What is the press limit for Cava?

A

80 hL/ha, with one hectolitre of must from 150 kg of grapes.

49
Q

Briefly describe the production of Cava (primary, malo, and secondary).

A
  1. Primary in large stainless steel tanks at 14–16°C (57.2–60.8°F) – cool temperatures retains fruit aromas;
  2. Malo blocked to preserve acidity;
  3. Secondary occurs in the bottle (Cava is made Traditional Method).
50
Q

Cava typically:

  • goes through full malolactic conversion
  • does not go through malolactic conversion
A

Does not go through malolactic conversion

51
Q

Does Cava usually use reserve wines in the blend, or are the wines usually all from one vintage?

A

Usually all from one vintage whether it’s marked as such or not.

52
Q

Do most Cava producers hand riddle or use gyropalettes?

A

Use gyropalettes

53
Q

What is the minimum time for Cava to age sur lie?

A

9 months

54
Q

What is the typical dosage level and style for Cava?

A

Most Cava has 8–9 g/L dosage, making Brut the predominant style

55
Q

What are the three main categories of Cava?

A
  1. Cava
  2. Cava Reserva
  3. Cava Gran Reserva
56
Q

Cava (basic Cava):

  • What is the minimum sur lie aging?
  • What is its general profile?
A
  • Minimum 9 months sur lie;
  • Light to medium intensity of lemon, apple and herbal notes, light autolytic notes, and medium to medium+ acidity;
  • Acceptable to good quality;
  • Inexpensive to mid-priced.
57
Q

Cava Reserva:

  • What is the minimum sur lie aging?
  • What flavor is prominent?
  • What is its quality level?
A
  • Minimum 15 months sur lie;
  • Autolytic notes are more noticeable;
  • Good to very good in quality, mid-priced.
58
Q

Cava Gran Reserva:

  • What is the minimum sur lie aging?
  • What flavors are dominant?
  • What is its quality level?
A
  • Minimum 30 months sur lie;
  • Autolytic notes dominate: generous toasty, smoky character;
  • Very good to outstanding, premium priced.
59
Q

What are the 4 registers of Cava production per the Consejo Regulador del Cava?

A
  1. Growers
  2. Producers of base wines
  3. Storekeepers of base wines
  4. Cava producers

Many Cava producers are all 4!

60
Q

What are the 4 new Cava categories?

A
  1. Corpinnat (2019)
  2. Cava de Paraje Calificado (2017)
  3. Espumoso de Calidad de Rioja (2017)
  4. Classic Penedès (2014)
61
Q

Cava Gran Reserva and Cava de Paraje Calificado may only be made in these three styles.

A
  1. Brut Nature
  2. Extra Brut
  3. Brut
62
Q

What are the rules for Cava de Paraje Calificado?

A
  • Estate-produced and bottled;
  • Must be from single estate or single vineyard owned by the producer;
  • Vines at least 10 yrs old;
  • Maximum production yield 8,000kg/ha, 48hl/ha after pressing;
  • No acidification;
  • Aged minimum 36 months sur lie;
  • Must be Brut or lower.
63
Q

What is Corpinnat?

A

A producer-driven sparkling wine association that broke ties with the Cava DO in 2019 due to their dissatisfaction with the DO for not doing enough to differentiate inexpensive, large-volume Cava from premium, hand-made Cava.

Corpinnat takes into account the entire production of a producer rather than just individual wines, which is what Cava de Paraje Calificado does.

64
Q

What are the rules a producer has to meet to be Corpinnat?

A
  • Grapes must be 100% organic;
  • 90% of the grapes must be indigenous varieties;
  • Grapes must be grown in Penedès;
  • Grapes must be hand harvested;
  • Vinified on the winery premises;
  • Wines must be Traditional Method.
65
Q

What are the three minimum aging requirements for the levels of Corpinnat?

A

18, 30 and 60 months

66
Q

What are the rules for Classic Penedès?

A
  • Grapes must be certified organic from the Penedès DO;
  • Minimum 15 months sur lie;
  • Traditional Method or methode ancestrale.
67
Q

What are the rules surrounding Espumoso de Calidad de Rioja?

A
  • Hand harvested;
  • Traditional Method.
68
Q

What are the three tiers of Espumoso de Calidad de Rioja and their minimum sur lie aging requirements?

A
  1. Crianza: 15 months sur lie
  2. Reserva: 24 months sur lie
  3. Gran Añada: 36 months sur lie
69
Q

How much of all Cava produced is exported?

A

Rougly 2/3 of all Cava is exported

  • Main markets: Germany, UK, USA, France, Japan