Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wining with Pere Ventura...

The Goddess of Wine was invited to lunch at Il Grano Ristorante Italiano for a special tasting of Pere Ventura Cava. Fourth-generation winemaker and proprietor Pere Ventura Vendrell charmed us as he told us his family history and led this intimate group of wine writers and retailers through the wine tasting.

Pere's family wine heritage dates back to the late 19th century when his great-grandfather, Manuel Montserrat Font, helped produce the first bottles of Spanish Cava made in the traditional French method. In the early 1900's, his grandfather, Pere Ventura Peracaula, was a distinguished enologist, acquiring knowledge and experience in Dijon and working in the most prestigious Champagne houses, including Moet, in order to bring modern production techniques to Penedes and establishing benchmark quality for Cava.

Pere's father, Jaume Ventura Montserrat, continued the family tradition, and encouraged his son to become part of the family business instead of following his vocation to the priesthood. Pere brings his deep spirituality and a strong sense of identity to his wines. Each bottle is sealed with a rendering of his handprint, symbolizing his personal guarantee. Salut!

The Pere Ventura wine estates are all organic, with no pesticides used. As a member of the Wineries for Climate Protection initiative, the estate is fully committed renewable energy and biodiversity, and practicing sustainable agriculture.

A quick note about the traditional grapes used for Cava -  Macabeo, also known as Viura, provides the "meat" of the wine; Xarél-lo, a noble grape of Spain, provides backbone and structure; Parellada brings aromatics, softening the other grapes, providing the "sweet spot", without being sweet.

NV Pere Ventura Tresor Brut Reserva - 40% Xarél-lo, 40% Macabeo, 20% Parellada. This traditional blend of Spanish grapes come from 15-year-old vines grown on chalky, high elevation (1115 feet) soil. Aged on its lees for 24-30 months, the wine is only 11.5% abv, with a lovely balance of bubbles, freshness and flavor. Its creamy mouthfeel and fresh character made it the perfect wine to start the luncheon. The chef at Il Grano paired this sparkler with Antipasto di Mare - razor and Manila clams on a bed of arugula, with a prawn vinaigrette.  $14.99

NV Pere Ventura Tresor Brut Rosé - 100% Trepat. This indigenous red grape, generally only used for Rosé, comes from 20-year-old vines in chalky, high elevation soils. Aged an average of 15 months, it's another low-alcohol dazzler at 11.5% abv, with a nose full of baking spices. This treat was paired with Risotto Gamberoni, a delicious Santa Barbara prawn risotto. $14.99

2011 Pere Ventura Brut Cupatge (Cuvée) d'Honor - 60% Xarél-lo, 40% Chardonnay. 25-year-old vines on high elevation chalky soil, aged for 30 months sur lie, pays homage to Pere's father. At 11.5% abv, with a soft, fine mousse, this is a gorgeous and luxurious wine to sip. Chef paired this with Caponata stuffed calamaro, with salsa al pomodoro and peperoncino di Controne. Wow. $27.99

We finished off the lunch with a dish of caramelized white figs and a black mission fig gelato.

What a treat!

Thanks to Bethany Scherline, VP of Public Relations at Palm Bay International, for providing a wonderful taste of Pere Ventura Cava, as well as the photos on this page.


No comments: