Wine Review: Agusti Torello Mata Gran Reserva 2008 Barrica Brut Nature Cava

Agusti Torello Mata is one of the more known Cava-producers in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, the capital of cava, just 30 minutes west from Barcelona. What distinguishes this cava-house from some other large producers, for example Freixenet and Codorniu, is that they produce only Reserva and Gran Reserva Cavas aged minimum 15 and 30 months. Good comparisons to think about when considering the aging of a sparkling wine is that the minimum time required for a product to use the name Cava is 9 months. A champagne is always aged at least 36 months.

The first time I tasted this Cava (not sure which vintage) was a few years back at Bar Nombre. I was sold after the first sip. What makes it a little bit different is that 40% of the wine is aged 8 months in oak. Yes, oak and Cava sounds a bit strange, but I very much like it. I think the key with this wine is that it is very low in sugar, only 0,5g per liter; so the oak is not mixed with too much sweetness. It is made of 100% Macabeo and the alcohol content is 12%.

At first when I opened the bottle and poured the Cava into a glass, I was surprised. The copper-tone of the bottle gives the impression that the Cava would have a slight red and gold color to it, however, it is very yellow, even light when comparing with expectations. You can smell the oak, but also some balsamic with notes of baked fruit and vanilla. The taste is creamy, yet dry (oxidized), with hints of honey and sherry. The wine is well-balanced and there is a long, nutty after taste. I know, sounds wonderful, right? Perfect winter-appetizer.

This specific bottle was among the treasures we brought back from our last Barcelona trip, but now I can see that it is also available at the monopoly in the special order selection. This must be a recent addition. However, I would say 252 SEK for the bottle is a bit on the high side. I was much more happy with the 16 EUR that we paid for it in Barcelona.

All in all, I give the wine 4.5 stars. Half a star extra coming from being a bit unique, and half a star short of a full five for being expensive. Well, not really expensive, but pricey for being a Cava. But if you compare to some of the champagnes that cost significantly more, this is a bargain. If you run across this wine somewhere, I recommend picking up a bottle and giving it a try.

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