You need this wine in your life: Raventos i Blanc de Nit
So what do you drink for sparkling wine? Are you a Champagne whore? I get those questions a lot, like too much. I mean, what do people think, that I’m a snob who just drinks Champagne all the time? I don’t. I just don’t have the budget for it. And besides, I recently found something that blows Champagne right out of the fucking water.
The wine I am referring to, a wine that you need in your life right now, is the Raventos i Blanc de Nit a sparkling rosé from Spain. I can almost sense your eyes roll in your head. Great, so he drinks cava instead. But this is no cava, this is something so much more, so much better, and so intriguing that it betrays reason and yet makes absolute sense. This is a wine that will make you understand just how good sparkling wine can be, how refreshing, how it has the ability to make you happy and bright. This might just be one of the best sparkling wines on the planet, allow me to explain.
I should start by telling you the story behind this wine, where it comes from, and what makes it “not cava.” The Raventos family have been making wine since 1497 but they started making sparkling wines with native grapes from their estate in 1872. The Raventos i Blanc have had their hands in the creation of the cava DO, the promotion of Spanish sparkling wines, and the growing acceptance and following of these wines. That only begins to scratch the surface though. You have to dig deeper and understand the terroir from which these wines are created.
Manuel Raventos Domènech would play a key role in the early 20th century to te importance and impact of this special terroir. He was a believer that it would be highly unlikely that Dom Perignon, who created the traditional sparkling wine method, would just happen to chance upon his creation on top of the best conditions for sparkling wine. It’s absurd to think so really, because that is what we think makes Champagne so special. Could it all have just been luck?
There is a belief among the subsequent generations of the Raventos i Blanc family that this terroir on which their estate exists is unique, in fact it is exceptional for growing grapes that produce beautiful sparkling wines. In order for those beliefs to be recognized they take great care of the land, practicing biodynamic principals. They have also shed the label of cava, instead they have established their own appellation focused on this unique and amazing micro climate, Conca del Riu Anoia. The appellation is solely theirs, of which there are only three in the world. The others belonging to Nicolas Joly and Domaine Romanee Conti
Spearheading all of this is the current generation and winemaker Pepe Raventos. His character and soul adds more to the wine. He carries a swagger that is cool, approachable, and yet fun and exciting. He looks more surfer than farmer, probably because he is a surfer as well. He holds steadfast to his principals of biodynamic agriculture and small producers. When we met he pointed out all the great natural winemakers, all of them small, all of them with great heritage, all of them heroes or friends of his, none of them belonging to a bigger wine corporation.
It was at a tasting at Brix Wine Shop in Boston that he introduced me to so many of his wines. We spoke of food, surfing, and great places to travel. I could tell immediately that this man was an old soul, a genuine person, and a true character. By the end of our conversation he had invited me to stay with him in Barcelona, my only way of paying forward for his warmth would be to work alongside him in his garden. We toasted to our adventures, and continued to drink more of his amazing sparkling wines.
What stood out to everyone that night, and the many times I have drunk and tasted this wine with other people before and since was the de Nit rosé, the wine that you need in your life. There is something about this wine that makes it simply delicious. The wines has a very feint pink hue, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was a white sparkling wine. But the taste betrays it’s looks, and shows it’s life in more profound ways. Pepe added just 5% monastrell (Mourvèdre) to the blend and it changes the character of the wine completely. The fruits sing loud and clear, almost tropical in their song. It’s crazy, but this is something that Pepe Raventos would do, he tinkers just a little bit with the blend to show a whole new face of his exciting terroir. It’s an accessible wine, but it’s also complex and elegant. This is a perfect sparkling wine!
The combination that is the sense of place, the tradition, and the character that is Pepe Raventos combine to make a wine that is perfect for any occasion and for anybody. I will forever be happy to share this wine with my friends, and welcome them with great warmth and a ready glass of chilled Raventos i Blanc de Nit. I only ask they do some gardening with me in return.