Codorníu Cuvée Clasico Brut Cava NV

Pale yellow color; apple, almond, brioche on the nose; green apple, Meyer lemon, lime, pear, bread yeast on the palate.

Codorníu Cuvée Clasico Brut Cava NV

Brut—almost to the slightly sweeter extra dry (this is 10 g/L—extra dry starts at 12 g/L). Fine, persistent mousse. Creamy, light-medium body. Classic Spanish cava blend of 34% xarel-lo, 33% macabeu, 33% parellada grapes. Refreshing acidity. Made using the traditional Champagne method (método tradicion). I have reviewed this sparkling wine before, and my notes are very similar, which is what you expect from quality sparkling producer—they aim for a consistent house style year after year. Codorníu has produced this wine since 1872. Although simple and straightforward, this can hold its own with French Champagnes at double or more the price; 11.5% ABV.

Codorníu is a major player. The website notes: “The Raventós Codorníu group is the oldest family company in Spain and the 17th in the world. More than 460 years of history dedicated to the elaboration of wines and cavas of great value have led us to erect 14 cellars in the best wine-growing areas of the world. Our wines capture the rich essence of the winemaking tradition and the innovative spirit that has turned this company into a respected world leader in viticulture and oenological knowledge. To date, the Raventós Codorníu group has more than 3,000 hectares [7,400 acres] of vineyard owned, which makes it the largest vineyard owner in Europe.”

Codorníu vineyard

This is their traditional, straightforward mass market cava. They produce a host of others, several from non-traditional Spanish cava grapes. In short, Codorníu is able to offer you so many different pours, you are bound to like one. Or all of them.

Cava is the Catalan word for cave or cellar because caves and cellars were used (still are used in many cases) to preserve and finish wines. Catalan winemakers officially adopted the “cava” term in 1970 to distinguish their product from Champagne. Founded in Barcelona, Spain in 1551, Codorníu is the world’s oldest and second-largest producer of cava—more than 40 million bottles a year. They also produce some 18 million bottles of still wines at wineries in Spain, California, and Argentina.

Inside Codorníu’s 30 miles of cellars-caves

Bruno Colomer has been Codorníu’s main enologist since 2008. He asserts on the website: “Our philosophy is to create a diversity of cavas, both young and with a prolonged aging, but all with a common denominator: maximum quality with a fresh and modern style, maintaining the main characteristics of each grape variety. This can be achieved thanks to our origins: farm and certified vineyards of three different terroirs, three zones within the Denomination of Cava and different grape varieties.”

Codorníu Cuvée Clasico Brut Cava NV is excellent, easy drinking Spanish bubbly, with superb QPR (quality-price ratio). Citrus, led by Meyer lemon, is predominant on the palate. Excellent acidity makes it very versatile when pairing with range of foods. Nice balance of fruit, acidity. Excellent choice as the toasting wine at a festive event. Both amateur sippers and veteran imbibers will find something to enjoy. The person paying for the event definitely will enjoy. Pair with shellfish; lean fish; poultry; cured meats; appetizers and snacks; tapas; enjoy as an aperitif. Also is perfect for mimosas. $12-18

Codorniu website

Bruno Colomer—Codorníu’s main enologist
Codorníu winery exterior
Codorníu wine museum
Codorníu tasting and events room
Cava Anna de Codorníu bottle fermentation room
Stairs to Codorníu cellars
Codorníu vineyard