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Ars Collecta Cava breaks price ceiling

Published:  16 December, 2016

Barcelona wine producer Codorniu has launched a new high-end range of Cavas, including the most expensive Cava ever made

Barcelona wine producer Codorniu has launched a new high-end range of Cavas, including the most expensive Cava ever made.

Codorniu's CEO Javier Pages said its new range of Cavas had broken the myth that only small vineyards make quality and artisanal wines and that large wine companies are all the same.

The new range called 'Ars Collecta' - Art Collection - comprises five Cavas: La Fideura; La Pleta; El Tros Nou; Jaume Codorniu; and 456, a cava named after the number of vintages produced by Codorniu up until 2007, when the wine was made.

According to Codorniu, the 456 is the most expensive Cava ever made, selling in Spain about €175 (£146).

Codorniu's winemaker Bruno Colomer presented the Jaume Codorniu and the 456 wines at a dinner at Norte Restaurant in London on 15 December.

With its steely acidity, freshness and apple, brioche and nutty notes, where the Jaume was well received by attending wine trade.

"The acidity is the back bone of the wine," said Colomer. "Although it was made in 2011, we have succeeded in maintaining the youthfulness of the wine; it can can beat many Champagnes."

The five Cvas from the Ars Collecta range include blends of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Xarel-lo made from three distinct plots of vines in Catalonia.

According to Codorniu, 10,000 bottles of the Jaume Codorniu have been produced and allocations for the UK will go to the on-trade, including Norte and other independent restaurants, priced between £35 and £40.

Norte said that it would exclusively sell the '456' and would replace some of its champagnes with Cava.

Codorniu UK, however, said allocations for the UK market had not been determined at this stage.

Codorniu has made a limited production of the 456; about 1,000 bottles and only 300 bottles of La Fideura, La Pleta and El Tros Nou cavas have been produced.

The release of Codorniu's new high-end range of Cava highlights the company's strategy of focusing increasingly on premium wines.

Pages said the high-end Cavas can now compete in quality with the best Champagnes of the world. According to Codorniu, turnover from its 'Prestige' category of wines - those selling over €12 - increased 35% between 2010 and 2015 and now represent about 20% of total turnover.

Codorniu said its new range will be placed under Catalonia's new premium classification, Cava de Paraje Calificado, which was launched in June last year.