A great-value sparkling wine for summer is the recently created non-vintage Codorníu Pinot Noir Brut Cava.
Codorníu is located in Spain’s Penedès region, about 75 miles south of Barcelona, between the Mediterranean coastline and the Monserrat mountains. It controls approximately 15,000 acres of vineyards through ownership or oversight of the viticulture under long-term vineyard contracts with growers.
Codorníu’s wine experience is documented to 1551, when Jaume Codorníu bequeathed his wine cellars, presses, barrels and vats to his heirs. A century later, Anna Codorníu married Miguel Raventós, whose family would bring a dynamic drive to the Codorníu enterprise. In 1872, Josep Raventós returned from a visit to France’s Champagne region and made Spain’s first sparkling wine, known as cava, using the Champagne method — the process of creating bubbles by initiating a second fermentation in the bottle. Thirteen years later, Josep’s son, Manuel Raventós, decided to dedicate Codorníu exclusively to the production of cava according to this method. And in 2004, the Raventós family conceived Spain’s first pinot noir cava.
Since 2008, Bruno Colomer Martí, 43, has led the enology team that produces Codorníu’s cavas. Educated in Spanish and French wine schools, Martí makes the pinot noir brut from 100 percent pinot noir grapes. With 6 to 8 grams of residual sugar, Codorníu’s pinot noir cava falls in the middle range of the brut classification of not more than 15 grams of residual sugar per liter. The eye-catching bronze-colored wine has a mild cherry scent. The tasty mix of black cherry and cranberry-like flavors are carried across the palate on very refined bubbles.
Sparkling wines in this price range are usually cotton-candy sweet; Codorníu has not only spared us that sensory assault but given consumers a balanced wine that is ideal for a summer aperitif and dishes like chicken Waldorf salad, Nicoise salad, poached salmon — warm or chilled, and summer fruit pies.
Codorníu recommends consuming its cavas within 10 months of purchase to maximize the pleasure of the fresh fruit flavors. But you won’t have to set the time clock because the non-vintage Codorníu Pinot Noir Brut Cava is so savory it will be gone before you know it, and the price is so reasonable you won’t care.
The non-vintage Codorníu Pinot Noir Brut Cava retails for approximately $15.