Spanish cava has once again tightened its rules and, at the same time, DO Cava takes the opportunity to introduce some new words for us to remember. From now on, cava with more than nine months of ageing is called cava de guarda.
With over 18 months of ageing, the name is cava de guarda superior. This latter group includes Reserva, Gran Reserva and Paraje Calificado. Thus, Reserva now requires 18 months of ageing on the lees instead of the 15 months that have applied so far. The vintage must be mentioned on the label. Gran Reserva still needs 30 months.
Cava de Paraje Calificado was created in 2017 to enable producers to put the spotlight on some, particularly excellent vineyards. This category requires at least 36 months of ageing. Normal cava (now called cava de guarda), however, largely dominates production, with around 85% of sales. These wines must be left on the yeast lees for at least nine months before disgorging.
A novelty is also that estates that have their own vineyards and produce their own cava will be identified with a particular label on the bottle. DO Cava will also more actively market organic and sustainable cava.
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