RAVENTÓS i BLANC

Espumosos del Conca del Riu de Anoia, Penedes

 A small, family-owned concern, based on 90 hectares at Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, which has been in the family since 1659, and has been a wine-growing estate since 1497. Until recently, their fruit went to the large firm, Codorniu, with whom the family have a distinguished past, in ownership and management. The Raventos i Blanc holdings, in fact, curl around the Codorniu HQ. RIB is currently run by the dynamo, Pepe Raventos. 

In 1984, family patriarch Josep Maria Raventós i Blanc and scion Manuel Raventós i Negra struck out with their own brand, produced entirely from estate fruit. As so often the case in Spain, family heritage is a matter of immense pride, particularly for a tribe who can legitimately claim to have originated an entire DO! “L’Hereu”, or ‘the line’, is their term for the continuity of the Raventos family in sparkling from the origin of Cava (Josep Raventos Fatjo produced Spain’s first in-bottle fermentation in 1872) to the present.

(re-)Introducing Raventos i Blanc, Conca del Riu de Anoia

from 2012, Raventos i Blanc have ceased calling their wines Cava, preferring their own appellation: Conca del Riu de Anioa. Riu is Catalan for the Rio Anoia, whose valley forms the heart of Cava country, half an hour from Barcelona in the Catalan hills. Raventos I Blanc are solely responsible for the birth of this would-be-appellation, which they admit will take a generation to achieve full force.  The move stands as critique of the crass commerciality and carelessness of the DO that the Raventos family were responsible for. Current family head, Pepe Raventos lists organic viticulture, proper custodianship of a land for the future, and the centrality of life based around a ‘Masia’ (farmhouse) as key motives for the shift. This is an arcadian dream of a Catalan country culture deeply rooted in the land, resulting in a balanced ecology producing estate-based, high quality wines based entirely on local grapes. The ‘L’Hereu’ is severed …

RiB (Raventos i Blanc) L’Hereu

60% Macabeo/20% Xarel-lo/20% Parellada. 8.8 g/l residual sugar, lees-aged for 12 months, 11.8% a/v.

Typical of the Raventos i Blanc house style, this is a supremely elegant and delicately textured premium sparkler, featuring fresh apple and fine sand earthiness. Nestled into the characteristic fine bead are twinkles of seaspray, white nectarine and green pear; it’s deft, delicious and has lovely flavor and mouthfeel as well as crunch and race. Outstanding wine for the price.

RiB (Raventos i Blanc) de Nit Rosado

55% Macabeo/20%Xarel.lo/20% Parellada/5% Monastrell. 7.5% g/l residual sugar.

Many would say Hooray, in Epernay, should they achieve this finesse. It’s delicious!

Dry pink of great elegance. Detailed and delicate, with a pink perfume dance without cloy or clutter. A lovely faded rose pink, it smells of gently boozed strawberries and dusty roses; perfumed without outrageous fruitiness or excess. Nice false sweetness on entry balances to off-dry through the palate. Juicy and gentle, high quality delicate bubbles cut the fruitiness and the mouth runs out to a super-gentle acid close.

RiB (Raventos i Blanc) Gran Reserva de la Finca

A single vineyard expression, from very limey, lean soil: it’s all about limestone, limestone, limestone: olive brine salinity, preserved scallop shells and sour stones provide the mineral backbone.

Earthy and golden, toasty and generous but beautifully edged with a crunchy green apple finish. Mineral, with jasmine, garden weeds, honeysuckle and waxy pollen. A faux sweetness of syrup-soaked gooseberries, pistachio husk, golden bread crust then acidity and maritime minerality. The finish is long and persistent and speaks of ocean floors of eras gone by, as this is a wine of place, and that place is all fossils!

RAVENTOS I BLANC Mas del Serral vintage espumoso d’Anoia

Ranked number 7 in the Decanter ‘best wines of the year 2021’ awards, only of only 6 wines in Spain, and one of only 7 fizzers globally to feature in this prestigious list!

The Decanter review goes:

"The finest bubbly. It has a distinctive aromatic character of apples, honey and cookies with ripe lychee and fresh melon aromas. There is a gentle effervescence on the palate accompanied by vibrant, crisp acidity. Great depth and complexity, with layers of flavor."~ Pedro Ballesteros

Mas del Serral is current RIB chief, Pepe Raventos’s pet project.

“Want to start your own appellation?” Which, as you know they did …

“Might as well kill it by making something world class!”

So, here they are, killing it indeed.

MDS commenced as a project in 2005, working with the Xarel.lo and Bastard Negre vines co-planted in a tiny plot (1.92 hectares) called Clos de Serral in the family estate. Serral was planted in 1954 in calcareous (limestone) soils replete with marine fossils, making for uniquely mineral wines. Viticulture is BD, with no machines, just a pair of horses. The vineyard has its own little wine garage. Grapes are selected berry by berry. The resultant wine is more than 8 years on lees in bottle. It even has its own oak cork, selected in a nearby Mediterranean forest in la Bisbal d’Empordà. 

Why leaving the DO Cava?

As you all know, Raventós i Blanc was created to give a "raison d'être" to an estate where vines have been grown since 1497, and to continue a family vine-growing tradition stretching back over 20 generations. The founder, Josep María Raventós i Blanc, had a concept based on the closest possible connection between man and nature, propagating the idea of Catalan country folk deeply rooted in their land. With that he wanted to create a true alternative to champagne. 

We want to recover the long-lost characteristics of that life based around the traditional farmhouse of the Penedès region; that local vine-growing culture in which the land, the vines, the animals and man all worked together in harmony as an agricultural whole: bio-synergy. We believe that there is an opportunity for honest wines resulting from a single estate, a specific climate, native grape varieties and a rigorous, well-defined and respectful form of viticulture. For this reason, in November 2012, we have decided to leave the DO. We believe that we need to create a LOCAL, VITICULTURE ORIENTED and super exigent DO in order to frame our wines and help them be better understood worldwide. For that we have to leave the DO and start from zero. We can’t do it inside the DO CAVA, as a sub DO because it’s really impossible to make it happen.