It’s the fourth Cava I had in the past couple of months in India and this time it was Freixenet the largest exporter of Cava from Spain and the biggest producer, in fact around 80% of all Cava exported is from Freixenet. It is now also imported in India by Aspri Spirits and is prices at Rs 1795 a bottle.
Cava is a sparkling wine from Spain and is allowed to come from only certain areas and with particular grape varieties the most classic of them being the Paralleda, Xarel-lo and the Macabeu. They also allow use of red grape varieties for their pink sparkling or Rosados and have also permitted the French Chardonay and Pinot Noir to be used in the blends. Cava is made using the traditional method and often referred to as Spain’s answer to Champagne however with the warmer climate it comes from the fruit profile is quite distinct in most cases. Cava have to be aged for a minimum of 9 months on lees, Cava Reserva for at least 15 months and Gran Reserva for 30. The Gran Reserva can only be Brut or less sweet and have to bear the vintage on the bottle.
Aspri has got two variants into the Indian market from the Freixenet portfolio, the Cordon Negro Brut often referred to as the ‘Black Bottle Bubbly’ and touted as the highest imported sparkling wine in the world and the Carta Nevada Semi Dry a sweeter style with 37 grams of residual sugar. The former with lees aging of up to 18 months was still quite on the fruitier side with subtle yeasty notes and the latter was seaming with luscious stone and tropical fruit and vanilla nuances. Damian Clarke- Managing Director, Freixenet Group who flew down for the Mumbai launch said; “Freixenet is enjoyed by consumers in over 150 countries and we are delighted. India will now be one of them. Freixenet represents the style and energy of our hometown, Barcelona. It can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a cocktail but is always a stylish drink consumed by those people who celebrate life.”
Indians got exposed to Champagne followed by the now defunct Indian bubbly Marquis De Pompadour and then Prosecco and Jacob’s Creek. Now the rise of new Indian sparkling wines put together with the aforementioned have certainly put sparkling wines popularly called ‘Champagne’ on an Indian wine drinkers consideration set. Cava has stepped in at the right time in the country and will have lesser groundwork to do, all they have to do is reach out to the right audience and Sunday Brunches could be a good way to begin.