As one of the oldest family-run wineries in the world, Raventos i Blanc has been in the Ravenos family since 1497, and is now run by Pepe Raventos, representing the 21st generation of the family. The estate, located in the Catalonia region of Spain, is fully committed to 100% biodynamic winegrowing methods, with a respect for the soil at the core of their philosophy. In 2012, the Raventos family decided to leave the DO Cava to create their own geographically-specific appellation of Conca del Riu Anoia, as a way to highlight the wines' terroir of origin, soils, climate and native varieties. The Blanc de Blancs 2016 from Raventos i Blanc remains faithful in character to its place of origin, a 40-year old vineyard by the name of Vinya del Llac. This northern-facing vineyard is characterized by clay soils, which release water gradually throughout the year, and a subsoil of calcareous bedrock with pebbles, which limits the water reserve and results in more structure in the finished wines. This blanc de blancs is made from a blend of 50% Xarel-lo, 34% Parellada and 16% Macabeo, with all fruit grown by biodynamic methods. Following a manual harvest, the grapes are quickly transferred to the winery by gravity and gently pressed. Alcoholic fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, separately for each grape variety and soil type. Secondary fermentation then takes place in the bottle by the traditional champenoise method, followed by at least 18 months of lees-aging before release. This process rounds out the texture of the wine, allowing it to fully express the salinity and mineral characteristics of its terroir of origin.
The Blanc de Blancs 2016 of Raventos i Blanc shows off a bright straw yellow color in the glass with a stream of fine bubbles flowing continuously to the top. In the glass, this Spanish sparkling wine displays a complex blend of white fruits (peaches and apricots) with Mediterranean herbs, dried fruits and hints of citrus. On the palate, this wine reveals itself to be very powerful and full of flavor, with the carbonation expertly integrated and beautifully balanced.