Jaume Giró i Giró, Cava DO, Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Cataluyna
The Cavas are grown in vineyards planted in highly marine, calcarious soils, which lend freshness and minerality to the wines. The still wines used in Ramon's Cava production come both from his own vineyards (grower Cava!) and from very long base wine producer relationships that have been in place since Ramon's father ran the cave. The cave is in the center of Cava's main town, Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, about 45 minutes outside of Barcelona. The whites are organic, the rosados conventional.
The Cava DO requires that Reserve level Cavas be aged on the lees for a minimum of 15 months, and Gran Reservas for 30 months. Ramon's youngest Cava, the Elaboracion Artesana, a Reserva, is aged for 25+ months. The youngest Gran Reserva, Montaner, is aged for at least 45+ months. The "Selecte" and "Premium" bottlings can be over 10 years old upon release and aged over one hundred months on the lees, they are stunning examples of what Cava can do. His rose Cavas from Trepat, a local red grape, and Pinot Noir, are fresh and lovely wines as well. All of Ramon's wines that I import are Brut Nature, having zero dosage (are bone dry), with the exception of the Trepat rose, with a judicious 8 grams per liter, rounding it out a bit.
Ramon's primary bottlings are based on the trio of Cava grapes--Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada--and his white bottlings include 5 or 10% Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, which Ramon feels not only lends some intensity, but that these grapes are the "saviors of freshness" in the face of climate change.
Champagne, of course, receives the spotlight in the sparkling wine world, however, Champagnes are intensely acidic wines, and I believe that Cavas are much easier and more pleasant wines to drink, and with how complex and intriguing they can be, I'm amazed that these types of bottlings aren't more commonly consumed wines. (Of note--this is coming from a person who loves intensely acidic wines!)
Depending on the age and style of the Cava, they pair with nearly everything. Ramon likes to start of dinner with the younger Elaboracion Artesana, with shellfish, salads, lighter fare, then will pop a bottle of one of his longer aged wines for the main course (be it of poultry, pork or meat). Dessert, of course, pairs well with some of his sweeter offerings.
Fresh, mineral, dry, complex: Giró's Cavas are the most elegant I've had. The son of Jaume Giró i Giró and current proprietor is Ramon Giró y Gramona; he has a great sense of humor, is a world traveler, and makes friends wherever he goes. His family has been involved in growing Cava, producing the base wines or making and aging Cava since at least 1836, although that is just the earliest found documentation, and they have likely been involved even longer. Ramon learned how to make Cava from his grandfather, the Gramona (hence Ramon's last name). His Cavas are aged on the lees for extended periods of time (for some bottlings, over 100 months), and he does not disgorge (remove the lees) until he receives an order. The result are elegant, lees driven Cavas, with great intricacy, value and food friendliness.