235/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Cava – Sant Sadurni d’Anoia – Celler Agusti Torello – Cava Agusti Torello Mata Rosat 2008
Cava Agusti Torello Mata Rosat 2008, 100% Trepat
This is an excellent example of what can be achieved with the Trepat variety, give it some bubbles, give it some time and boom! You can have some easy and Quiet Nights with this lovely Cava! Lively strawberry colour. Good intensity on the nose, quite expressive, something sweet with hints of red forest fruits, some floral touches (red flowers) and slight slight fennel. On the palate it is expressive, dry, creamy, with well-integrated but slightly bitter acidity, with some vegetable notes, long and attractive carbon. Bubbles without troubles!
Truth being, to much of the lower quality Cava is being sold in the world, and people rarely get to enjoy the really good stuff, and there’s plenty of the good stuff! Ok, so you’re sitting there thinking, Cava is still no competitor to Champagne! All I can say is, keep drinking your Champagne, that way there will be more Cava left for me! Thank you!
But seriously, do the maths. Cold, unreliable climate versus warm and reliable climate, what’s better for the maturity (and flavor) of the grapes? Yepp! That’s right. For me the consistency of Cava is far beyond that of the Champagne.
Now, the one thing the French do better and have been doing for a long time, is marketing. We were the first, we are the best, come and pay 50 euro and upwards for a bottle of bubbly! I have paid that but not any more. Fantastic Cava is to be found on the market for half that and that is some good wine right there!
The acidity in the French stuff doesn’t allow me to drink more than a few glasses, at best. Cava, well let me tell you, that I can drink for quite some time before I get any inclination of acidity in my stomach. Today’s choice is a really price-worthy Cava, enjoyed any-time of the day but still I do prefer it on Quiet Nights!
One of the most prestigious Cava producers is Agustí Torelló Mata and they have created more prestige for the reputation of Cava, then any other winery in Penedes. Their hard work and world-renowned expertise has proven that Cava can rival the best Champagnes and sparkling wines in the world!
Kripta, the amphorae bottle, cult Cava, is a collector’s wine. The goal has been achieved by determination, hard work and the use of fist class indigenous varietals from the best vineyards in the region. Neighboring competitors have increased the use of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while Agusti Torello Mata winery has stayed consistently true to the origins of Penedes.
Agustí Torelló, the founding father, decided that he wanted to make a high quality sparkling wine, and so the winery was born in the mid 1950s. The winery is locate just outside Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, just about 30 minutes from Barcelona.
Knowing that the terroir in Penedès is unique and exceptional, only thing missing was knowledge, how to best deal with the raw materials at hand. At a young age he decided not to follow in his families footsteps – who were actually tailors and musicians!
What was then a brave endeavor with no guarantee of financial success was supported by his work in the region’s first wine analysis center, which Mata created in 1953. Supplementing his income by managing other estates, the reputation of Agustí Torelló ‘s Cava soon grew on the international stage, while the man himself established a promotional body – the Cava Guild- of which he was justifiably elected President of Honour.
The fine reputation of the estate and Agustí Torelló’s great work continued to grow into the 21st century, today the winery is still in capable family hands, managed by is four sons: Agustí, Gemma, Alex and Lali. They have expanded their estate’s holdings to 35 ha of organic vineyards but they also buy grapes from over 100 ha to cover their requirements.
Their range of Cavas includes dry and very dry, low dosage styles, focusing solely on growing the indigenous varies of the area with impressive results. All their Cavas are excellent, but the star of the show is undoubtedly their cuvee prestige, Kripta. The packaging is enough to cause a stir, a distinctive, amphora-shape bottle with an avant-garde label design.
The idea behind this special vintage bottling came to Agustí Torelló Mata at the family home, Can Rossell, in 1979, when he realized that his winery should make use of the oldest vineyards in Penedès to craft something unique. Intially it was only intended for family, friends and true connoisseurs.
The idea was to produce an extraordinary cava like none other. And as the extraordinary can not be improvised, they waited over 30 years to market it. Quality, wisdom, perseverance and enjoying something that is unique is in fact the Kripta.
The wine is only produced in the most exceptional vintages, after an extended period of 5-6 years on its lees, Kripta emerges as a highly complex, full bodied and rich Cava. The perfect ambassador for the exceptional sparkling wines of this estate! Another one of my Mata favourites is the Grand Reserva Barrica, 100% Macabeu! More about the Kripta and Barrica in coming articles as todays hero is the Trepat!
146 to go!