My top 10: Cava

Decanter - - CONTENTS -

Span­ish sparkling wine on a dif­fer­ent level, as se­lected by Pe­dro Balles­teros Tor­res MW

With the in­tro­duc­tion of a new top-tier clas­si­fi­ca­tion for Cava in 2017, there’s been a re­newed fo­cus on qual­ity for Spain’s sparkling wines. From bou­tique winer­ies carv­ing a niche to es­tab­lished names push­ing bound­aries, Pe­dro Balles­teros Tor­res MW high­lights his pick of the pre­mium pro­duc­ers and rec­om­mends top wines to try Agustí Torelló Mata

Em­body­ing much of Cava’s his­tory, Agustí Torelló Mata is a nephew of the Torelló fam­ily of Cavas Torelló and the Mata fam­ily of Re­caredo. He has pre­vi­ously man­aged some of the most tra­di­tional Cava winer­ies, and es­tab­lished the Cava Broth­er­hood. Also founder of the oeno­log­i­cal lab in Penedès, Torelló Mata is some­thing of an es­sen­tial ref­er­ence point for Cava. De­spite hav­ing ex­ten­sive knowl­edge of Cham­pagne, he was one of the first Cava mak­ers who chose not to im­i­tate the French, but to pro­duce wines with a dis­tinc­tive Cata­lan pro­file. He’s both a fierce de­fender of na­tive va­ri­eties and a proud apos­tle of the qual­ity and di­ver­sity of Penedès ter­roirs. But per­haps his most re­mark­able con­tri­bu­tion, back in 1979, was his pi­o­neer­ing ef­fort to pro­duce the first top-class Cava, Kripta, at a time when most other pro­duc­ers were mak­ing cheap and cheer­ful wines. ATM is a flag­ship for Cata­lan orig­i­nal­ity.

Agustí Torelló Mata, Kripta Gran Añada, Gran Reserva 2007 95

£ 53.95 Wade­bridge Wine Great aro­matic com­plex­ity, show­ing long age­ing. De­li­ciously creamy tex­ture on the palate, along­side a lengthy mul­ti­lay­ered, fin­ish. This could be the Cava equiv­a­lent to Dom Pérignon, based upon blends and long age­ing. Or­ganic.

Drink 2018-2030 Al­co­hol 11.5%

Agustí Torelló Mata, Gran Reserva Bar­rica, Gran Reserva 2012 92

N/A UK www. agusti­torel­ Made from 100% Ma­cabeo grapes from three dif­fer­ent or­ganic vine­yards, which are par­tially fer­mented and aged for six months in oak bar­rels, then aged in bot­tle for four years. A char­ac­ter­ful wine, with nicely de­fined fruit ex­pres­sion and a round and firm struc­ture. Great Cava for the table. Drink 2018-2022 Alc 12%

Agust’ Torell— Mata

Pe­dro Bal­las­teros Tor­res MW is the DWWA Re­gional co- Chair for Spain and is on the gov­ern­ing board of the Span­ish Tasters’ Union

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