I've been reading about Anna de Codorníu for years now, and a few weeks back I finally had a chance to try it. This is the cava that's supposed to have some of the complexity and body of a good French champagne because it is made with a traditional champagne grape--chardonnay--rather than the usual Catalan trio of parellada, macabeo and xarel-lo. Anna de Codorníu does contain some parellada, but most of it--70%--is chardonnay.
The wine writer Oz Clarke gives Anna a star and calls it "especially good" for a Codorníu. He goes on to say that all Codorníu sparklers are "better than the cava average."
Anna de Codorníu has a clean "biscuity" taste. Though dry, it has a faint sweet note. It has none of the cider-like flavor (often described as "baked apple") that some cavas have to excess.
In other words, Anna de Codorníu is much like Codorníu Brut Original. The chardonnay does not make much difference.
Is Anna de Codorníu as good as they say? No, it's just a good basic cava, better than most, but nothing really exceptional.
That said, Anna de Codorníu costs about $15 a bottle. As I've said before (and will say again), you could easily spend several times that price on a sparkler from France or California and wind up with an inferior wine.