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WA93: A “Finest Ever” Spanish Sparkler from a Historic Estate - 11/05/2017 - Spain

While Champagne dominates the conversation wine it comes to sparkling wine, there are many other regions producing top-tier bottlings that rivals those from this famed locale. One standout that recently came our way was the 2013 Raventos i Blanc "de la Finca" Gran Reserva. Raventos has a history dating back to 1497 and is the producer responsible for the first ever Cava. With such an impressive lineage, it’s clear they are doing something right. The biodynamically produced "de la Finca" is an exquisite bottling that is as serious and engaging as it is lively and easy drinking. These seemingly contradictory characteristics play out beautifully in the glass offering ample lush orchard fruit tones against a backdrop of toast, brioche, and toasted almond. If tasted blind, one might easily mistake it for a far more expensive grower Champagne. Being so fresh and lively, this 2013 is a joy to drink on its own, but will also pair nicely with a special meal. Given our sharp pricing, this is a perfect sparkler to add to your regular repertoire. Scroll below to read our staff reviews and you’ll why we were so captivated. While we did secure a solid allocation, given its low $30 price tag, we expect this beauty to move quickly, so don’t delay.

Staff Image

2013 Raventos i Blanc "de la Finca" Gran Reserva Conca del Riu Anoia ($29.99)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 De la Finca, from the estate, is the wine originally designed by Pepe Raventós' grandfather and it is produced with grapes picked from the Vinya dels Fòssils, the fossil vineyards part of El Serral, the east-facing part of their porpertywhich has limestone soils from 16 million years ago rich in marine fossils. It tends to produce the more mineral wines here. It is a blend of 50% Xarello, 40% Macabeo and 10% Parellada. Each variety is produced separately, blended and put in bottle for the second fermentation, and the bottles are never disgorged before they've been in contact with the lees for 30 months, during which time they are manually turned. 2013 is a low pH and high acidity vintage, something Pepe Raventós loves. They consider 2013 one of the best vintages ever in their property, which produced electric acidity and great clarity. 43,526 bottles produced. This is very chalky and salty, like a sea breeze and as it's kept in contact with the lees for longer, it has more developed aromas and a superb texture provided by the tiny bubbles. It's very lively and youthful, vibrant, with tension, with years ahead of it. This is truly outstanding. It could very well be the finest vintage of this wine ever. For comparison's sake, I also tasted a magnum. If you intend to lay it down, get magnums! There are some 4,000 magnums of this." (10/2016)

K&L Notes: Produced from 6 distinctive parcels on the Raventos property, this gran reserva bottling from Raventos is one of our very best sparkling wines in stock. Aromas of subtle toast, apple and citrus lead to a very bright palate, focused and with terrific energetic drive. The wine spends four years on the lees which add complexity, but given the quality of the raw material here there is still a very bright and youthful quality to this wine.

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 23, 2017

With 500 years of winemaking experience, its not hard to see why Raventos keeps producing stellar wines year after year. This 2013 bottling sources grapes from the vineyard Vinya dels Fòssils, noted for its marine soil and high density of fossil deposits. This unique terroir is expressed in the wine with a noted saline quality and crisp minerality that dances on the tongue. This coupled with extended aging time on the lees (30 months) lends it to possessing marzipan and brioche toastiness on the palate. Acidity for this wine is also elevated, making it perfect as an aperitif or food pairing option. This Cava shines bright and can be easily compared to a variety of Champagnes at similar price points. Delicious!

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 21, 2017

This is a sparkling wine that has it all: richness on the palate, zero dosage, balance of acidity, and a leesy creamy texture having spent three years in bottle before disgorgement. Raventos creates sparkling wines with character and depth all the way across the board, but the 2013 Gran Reserva has a delightful slight toasty quality which balances with the bone dry character and delivers what many Grand Cru Champagnes do not, at a much lower price point. This is definitely a wine to try in the holiday season!

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 18, 2017

Though it is not their least expensive wine, this could well be the best value of the Raventos stable. It of course is all organically cultivated estate fruit, but in this case the vines are grown on an especially calcareous portion of their property, rich in marine fossils. The result is a sparkling wine with delicious yellow and citrus fruit, quite powerfully flavored, but with a chalkiness that combines with the bubbles to refresh the palate. There is such impressive length and purity here, that I think we can honestly pour this side by side with our favorite Champagnes and have the wine more than hold its own. Simply a great bottle of bubbles from one of the world's more serious sparkling wine producers.

Staff ImageMorgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 17, 2017

Raventós, founded in 1497, has been passed on to family since its establishment with each successive generation involved in wine making or grape growing. That in itself is impressive. Throw in the fact that in 1872 a member of the Raventós family, Josep Raventós Fatjó made the first Cava, and you're talking about a lineage of wine makers that has had a an impact on viticultural history here! This bio-dynamically produced sparkler would give any Champagne a run for its money. There's notes of toasted almonds, lemon tart and roasted golden delicious apples with a touch of brioche. The palate is rich and toasty with excellent minerality and a super dry finish from the low dosage (4gm/L). If you want to branch out and expand your sparkling wine options, buy something special for an occasion coming up, or just treat yourself to some beautiful sparkling wine, pick this up.