A good deal is always welcome – and a good deal on a quality offering is especially welcome! This is an instance in which the PLCB (Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, purchaser/retailer of all wine in Pennsylvania) and the occasionally maligned Chairman’s Selection program hit ‘pay dirt’ for bubbly lovers across the fine Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Imported from Spain, the Anna de Codorniu Brut Cava NV is listed at a mere $8.99 (reportedly discounted from $15.00). Codorniu is one of Spain’s most storied Cava Houses, documenting their history back to 1551. The name Anna has great significance for the Cava House as it is the name of the first heiress to the Codorniu estate, who married Miguel Reventos in 1659. Since then, the Estate has been owned by the Reventos family, who have made wines for centuries, and Cavas since the late 1800s.
With all this history and tradition, it is not surprising that this Anna de Codorniu Cava is made with the “Methode Traditionelle” process (the same fermenting process used in Champagne, France). The result is a bubbly that definitely punches above its weight. Reasons for this likely include the modern blend, which is incorporates 70% Chardonnay, a significant component of most Champagnes, combined with the traditional Spanish Cava Grapes: Parellada 15% and Xarello/Macabeu 15%.
The palate is effervescent (though not as dry-as-a-bone-evaporates-on-your-palate like many traditional Cavas) and nicely balanced throughout, with apple and citrus flavors dominating the floral/herbal hints from the traditional Cava grapes. Small bubbles and creamy texture (again a hallmark of “Methode Traditionelle”) follow through to a clean finish that lingers, inviting the next sip… Super-complex Champagne this is not, but for a single bottle of high quality Champagne, one could purchase five of Anna de Codorniu Cavas!
In my estimation, this Cava is a Screaming Good Deal. In fact, I have not tasted an $8.99 bubbly that I would say I liked better. The PLCB stores are well-stocked with this Cava – so it should be as easy to find as it is to purchase! Make sure it is ice cold and Enjoy! (11.5%, Anna de Codorniu Chardonnay Brut Cava VAP NV, $8.99 PLCB Code: 33033)