Alko’s: Cordon Negro and Carta Nevada by Freixenet (Spain, Cava)


This week starts in English because of this week-end tasting, which involved two of the basic widely available Freixenet Cavas.

What is a Cava? A Cava is a sprakling wine from Spain. More specifically, Freixenet is based in Catalonia, next to Barcelona in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia. This sparkling is made in the same way as Champagne in France with a second fermentation held in bottle. Yet, the law is more flexible (eg it is not required to age it as long as Champagne, yields are not so strict either…), the grapes are different (Parellada, Macabeo, Xarel-lo… and recently a bit of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, like in Champagne) and the climate is also much warmer. It is possible to find very high quality Cava in Catalonia, like the one of Gramona or Raventos. Big firms’ best sellers like Anna de Codorniu by Codorniu are very servicable, the same with the « more confidential » Freixenet Vintage 2007.

Freixenet is by far the biggest producer so it was interesting to check on its two basic cuvées Cordon Negro and Carta Nevada. These two Cavas are produced from the traditional grape varieties, Parellada, Macabeo and Xarel-lo. I wrote already a note about them in a previous article, HERE.

Cordon Negro (Brut) is definitely what we can call a basic wine. It is cheap, it taste cheap and it does not go beyond your expectations. Aromatically, it is quite poor. The mouth feel is fresh and evaporates fast. It is easy drinking, beer-like. No bad after taste. This is decent technically speaking but it is pleasureless. Forget about it, the basic Codorniu is better.

Wineops’ rating: 40/100 ; 0 0

Carta Nevada (Semi Seco) is a sweeter version, bit cheaper too. The sweetness is not overwhelming which makes it difficult for it to fit with any desert. Kind of an appetitive wine again. The smell is neutral. The taste is a bit sweet and bitter in the end. This is again technically correct and this time truly unpleasant. Pass, forget about it, obliterate it form you memory!

Wineops’ rating: 38/100 ; 0 0

The result of this tasting is clear: avoid the basic Freixenet Cavas. Aim rather at basic sparkling form Italy or South America. For your information, I repeat that the Freixenet Vintage 2007 is good. This is so uninteresting that I don’t even link Alko site.

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