Swift started in the wine tourism industry in 2003 when he created Wine Pleasures based in Spain’s Penedès wine region, also known to many as Cava country. From there he has grown the company from a wine tasting tour operation to an event company for wine importers to meet boutique wine producers from Italy, Portugal and Spain. He also masterminded the now prestigious annual International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC). In 2011 he searched the internet for information and panel tastings on Cava and got nothing and so was born the initiative of giving both wine professionals and wine consumers an objective and fair minded annual publication on the world of Premium Cava titled – 50 Great Cavas. Thanks to this initiative many sparkling wine producers from around the world suggested the creation of a competition for Sparkling Wines of the world without the word Champagne in it and so back in 2013 saw the first results of the annual competition 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World.
Being a fan of Cava made from 100% Chardonnay I have to say one of my favourite easy drinking Cavas included in the tastings was from Extremadura based Via de la Plata Chardonnay Brut Nature. At the more complex end my favourite for 2018 has to be Finca Valdoserra Subirat Parent
Overall I was very impressed with the range of quality of Cavas entered. Young and Reserva Cavas showed wonderful freshness and certainly need to be drunk up as soon as purchased. Longer aged Cavas were generally drinking perfectly, weighty palates, well balanced with veins of acidity keeping their freshness. There were some exceptional Cavas from great terroirs, especially La LLacuna, Massís de Garraf and Pontons
Cava offers the best value of any Sparkling Wines, agreed our tasters, but choose carefully as there is immense diversity with so many levels of dosage, ranging from Brut Nature to Sweet with a definite trend on reducing dosage to give a fresher style.