MCF Rare Wine

I Must Be Losing It...but...Trust Me On This One...

When Pepe Raventos (of Cava producer Raventos i Blanc) stopped in yesterday, I knew I was about to taste something that was truly unique, and even extraordinary, perhaps.

He called it his 'Dream Wine'.

The Raventos family has about as much history in their region as any producer on earth.  The estate (the land, that is) has been in their family since 1497, and they first began producing sparkling wines there in 1872.

So, yeah, they go back.

They've always maintained the soil and spirit of their land with the utmost respect for its natural balance, and now practice biodynamically. 

But, nearly 150 years of winemaking experience have led up to this one, singular bottling, according to Pepe.

And as I tasted it, it was really had to not see it that way, not just because he 'said so', but because, when you taste the level of depth and complexity and all out soul that this wine just get it.

The whole of Cava as an idea has been building to the point where a wine of this pedigree, substance and mind-quieting profundity could exist.

I guess it's time to tell you what I'm blathering about...

The Pepe Raventos Mas del Serral 2007 is about as singular a sparkling wine as I have ever tasted, certainly this year.

Pepe calls this his 'Dream Wine' in the sense that he always 'dreamed' of making a wine of this stature - a single-vineyard, Super Cava with an extremely long period of lees aging.

The ultimate expression of the region and style.

The Clos del Serral (planted 1954) is his most prized piece of real estate and, in following the 2007 vintage, he set out on the dream.

The co-planted Xarel-lo and Bastardo Negre were vinified and bottled in 2008 and, following  100 months (yes, over 8 years) of lees time in bottle, the wine was disgorged we are...

I always try to refrain from this level of name-drop associating, but in this case, it really applies. If you can picture a properly-aged Dom Perignon, with its broad, weighty, yeasty-ness, crossed with the solera-driven briny nuttiness of a Selosse Substance, that's a good starting point.

Then add to that and unmistakably Spanish accent - the deep, textured, oxidative flavors of a Lopez de Heredia white is a pretty good example - and you have a wine that completely stands alone.

If you told me yesterday morning that, in 24 hours, I'd be hitting send on an offer for a $100+ Cava, I'd have rolled my eyes...but here we are...

If you're not into spending $129 on a bottle of wine (which, believe me I get), then there's also the wonderfully delicious 2010 Conca del Riu Anoia Manuel Raventos 2010 at $79, that's equally compelling, though, at a 'mere' 72 months on the lees, is ultimately not as complex and developed.

Incidentally, both of these will be pretty epic companions to a Thanksgiving meal, as well.

These are expensive, yes.  If they said Champagne on the label, the sticker shock would be significantly less, for sure, but either way, these aren't cheap.

But, I didn't get into this business to write long-winded newsletters about wines that I knew would always be easy to sell.

I got into it to sell exactly this kind of singular experience, not matter how obscure the grape, how far-flung the appellation or how pricey a wine is relative to its peers.

If I love it...I sell it...

Matt Franco

MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street
New York 10011