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Senior editor Alison Napjus joined Wine Spectator in 2000. She is the lead taster for Alsace, Beaujolais and Champagne and also tastes wines from regions throughout Italy.
Alison Napjus

Braving a Stormy Night in NYC with a Good Glass of Cava

Josep Maria Raventós i Blanc Brut Cava L'Hereu Reserva 2006

Alison Napjus
Posted: June 6, 2011

On a recent tumultuously stormy Saturday night in New York City, I found myself with some time to kill before dinner at a friend’s apartment, an umbrella that wasn’t cutting it in the storm’s sideways rain and wind, and nary a cab in sight. But a flash of lightning gave me a flash of inspiration as it lit up the sign for Aqua Grill, and I hustled across the street to escape the weather and enjoy a glass of wine at the restaurant’s bar.

Despite my wind-blown state and general dampness, it was easy to settle into the bustling bar scene at Aqua Grill. I found a comfy chair in their waiting area at the front of the restaurant, and quickly ordered a glass of the 2006 Raventós L'Hereu Reserva ($12 a glass). Winemaker Pepe Raventós works hard on his family-owned property to maintain some of his father's and grandfather's traditions, while moving forward with his own more modern take. The result is that this estate is making some very good wines.

The L'Hereu Reserva offered a creamy texture and flavors of yellow apple, pear, pastry and lemon zest. A smoky baseline and juicy acidity balanced the wine, and I rated it 87 points, non-blind. It was a great way to start my evening and helped me to decompress a bit while the storm kept going outside. Plus my seat near the window allowed me to time my departure with the arrival of some guests, and snag their cab!

WineSpectator.com members: Read blind-tasting reviews for other Josep Maria Raventós wines.

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated cavas.

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