Gramona: For Lovers of the Art of Cava

The Gramona family is one of Spain’s most distinguished producers of the sparkling wine called cava. Gramona is guided by a philosophy that places a premium on producing cavas that can be aged and express the unique character of their terroir. The vintage cavas we review below offer exciting aromas and flavors, rich texture and elegance, and a sense of terroir. They are wines that evoke emotion. This is the second in a series of International Wine Review articles on the best sparkling wines of the world.

Located in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia in the center of the Penedès region, this family estate known as “Celler Batlle” combines traditional and new technologies in crafting world class sparkling wines from mostly Xarel-lo and Macabeo, two grape varieties indigenous to the region. Gramona sources its grapes from 150 hectares of impeccably managed estate and neighboring vineyards. It invests heavily in R&D focusing on sustainable and ecologically sound viticultural practices.

Tasting Notes and Ratings

Gramona 2007 Gran Cuvée Penedès ($20) 90
The Gran Cuvée is a blend of one-third each of Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Chardonnay. It has a yellow green hue and aromas of melon, stone fruit and citrus. It is fragrant with light fruit flavors and a rich mouth feel. It is a lively and exuberant sparkler with good acidity on the finish. The wine spends one year in oak followed by three years on the lees in bottle.

Gramona 2005 Brut Imperial Gran Reserva Penedès ($20) 92
The Imperial is a blend of 50% Xarel lo, 40% Macabeo, and 10% Chardonnay. Yellow straw in color, it boasts fragrant and complex aromas of orchard and yellow fruit, toast, and nuts. Aged for 3-4 years, it is refined and elegant with notes of honey and crème brulée and a persistent finish. Great value.

Gramona 2001 Brut Nature III Lustros Gran Reserva Penedès ($30) 92
The Brut Nature combines 70% Xarel-lo and 30% Macabeo. It reveals a yellow gold color and aromas of smoke, brioche and grilled nuts. Aged for five years in the barrel and bottle, it offers a rich array of yeast, nut, and herbal flavors with a creamy mouth feel, toasted notes, good acidity and a rich long finish.

Gramona 2001 Celler Batlle Gran Reserva Brut Penedès ($60) 94
Deep yellow gold, the Celler Batlle is a blend of 70% Xarel-lo and 30% Macabeo. Aged for at least 8 years in bottle before release, it offers aromas of herbs, puff pastry, dried fruit with a light diesel note. On the palate, it reveals rich and complex yellow fruit flavors and autolytic notes with finesse and elegance. Only produced in the best vintages.

Previous reviews and ratings of Gramona and other Spanish sparkling wines are available in the International Wine Review Report #14 The World of Sparkling Wines and Champagnes.

European Cellars of Charlotte, NC, imports these fine wines.

Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler, December 2011

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