The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2010

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Page 20 of 96

BRAND SPOTLIGHT A Craving for Cava “H Mistinguett is the latest cava from Vallformosa, made in collabora- tion with importer Eco Valley. SPAIN’S VallfORmOsa WInEs PUTS SPANISH BUBBLY FRONT AND CENTER by Rachel Burkons / photos by Ronda Churchill ave you ever seen someone who is offered a glass of cava that doesn’t smile?” asks Oriol Domenech in what is obviously intended to be a rhetori- cal question. After all, who could possibly respond with anything short of giddy enthusiasm when presented with a glass of this fifth-generation owner and winemaker’s bubbly beauty, Vallformosa? “We don’t sell 75 centiliters of a sparkling wine,” continues the Spaniard, “we really sell happiness, good moments.” With the help of cava—Spain’s méthode champenoise sparkling wine—Domenech has made a lifetime of good moments in and around the Vallformosa winery in Spain’s Penendès region, where his family has been making excellent sparkling wines since 1865. “I played soccer in the vineyards and played with my friends between stainless steel tanks and bottles,” says Domenech of his cava-childhood. “One day, when I was eight years old, I began to ask myself about this world around me, and I started to study winemaking.” Domenech’s winemaking education quickly transformed into passion, which then gave way to incredible success. Domenech’s Vallformosa offerings, made from a blend of Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada grapes, have been highly lauded and awarded internationally, which the winemaker attributes to great grapes and soils. “Our cava smells and tastes like the traditional flavors that come from the earth,” he muses. “From the fruitiness of the young cavas, you get complex cavas with more body and structure, and a longer finish. The flavor comes from the grapes, from the elaboration and fermentation, and you Fifth-generation Vallformosa winemaker Oriol Domenech offers Eco Valley’s Andrew Miller a celebratory glass of Classic Brut in honor of the brand’s positive reception at this year’s WSWA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas. get the hints of green apple, banana and some almond notes after aging.” This flavor profile is what Domenech hopes will contribute to Vallformosa’s growth in the international marketplace, particularly among Millennial consumers. “It’s a huge market that grows every day as young people, new generations, are getting into the culture of the wine,” he explains. “They are learning how to taste, enjoy and learn about cava, as well as feel those good moments when you can drink a glass alone or pair it with food.” Ultimately for Domenech, cava is synonymous with celebration. “I feel good when I see people enjoying my wines for different occasions,” he says. “Brut Classic at a party, a bottle of Gran Reserva for two during a special celebration, a demi sec cava with ice cream on the beach . . . you make the moment.” Vallformosa is imported by Eco Valley. 20 / the tasting panel / july 2010

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