When I started this blog, it was very much just for me. It still is, but it has also brought me some great opportunities to meet new people. In the beginning of the summer I was contacted by Raidel. He is a fellow cavalover and has been actively marketing cava as a premium bubbly in the UK. We agreed to meet at Cavatast, and Raidel also introduced us to a new cava acquaintance, Torelló. We had tasted one fo the Torelló cavas before, their 225 (lightly oaked) gran reserva at Jason Athertons Esquina all the way in Singapore. If you followed this blog when we were in Asia last winter, you might have noticed that we were very deprived of good bubbly, so a glass of the 225 at that moment felt like a gift from God. So we were very excited to receive an invite to the Torelló family estate on the week following cavatast. This producer had made an impression, and we were very curious to find out more.
We were welcomed to the estate by Rosó, the new Export manager for Torelló cava. Born in Sant Sadurni, Rosó has long experience working with the “Champagne of Spain” (eg at the Institut del Cava). She gave us a quick tour of the facilities and an overview of the Can Martí estate that is not only the winery but also partially the family home. The Torellós have an impressive history dating back to the 13 hundreds. The day continued with a tour at the Torelló cellars. Tony Torelló, who is not only a Director at Torelló cava but also the president of the Confraria del Cava (the brotherhood of cava), explained the production process and the philosophy of the house. The emphasis is clearly on premium cava. A good product will sell its self. Torelló has high emphasis on the care given to the land and vines: grooming and picking by hand. Thus Torelló is one of the few houses that use only their own grapes. I have gone through quite many tours of cava production, but the part that stood out most for me was how the coupage (blend) was made. Perhaps you cannot call it a coupage at all. All the grapes going to the cava are pressed together, kind of like what one would do with a field blend. So all the varietals are in together already from the first fermentation. Torelló has also invested in the technology for soft pressing and uses mainly the free run juice in its production. The emphasis was in using verietals indigenous to Penedes. The use of Chardonnay was low in the selection.
After the tour we were treated to a nice Catalan lunch: traditional Catalan tomato bread, cold cuts, cheese and omelette as well as a warm dish of pork fillet (so good). We also sampled “a few” of the Torello cavas to get a good taste for the selection. We started off with the entry level selection: the light Pal.lìd Rose Brut Reserva and the Torello Brut Reserva. It was a hot day, so the cold cava was more than welcome. There was also some white wine available in the ice bucket, but I was so consumed by the food that I forgot about it (silly me). We also sampled some of the more premium products: the Grand Torelló Brut Nature Gran Reserva, the 225 Brut Nature Gran Reserva (aged in barrel), the Rose Brut Reserva and the Soto Special Edition Brut Gran Reserva (with chardonnay). We also sampled the Raimonda red wine, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It was lighter than expected, so very refreshing in the hot weather. All in all the wines were excellent, however the 225 remains my favorite even though I am seldom a fan of oak.
The day ended with coffees and an interesting discussion on how cava is perceived in each market (there were representatives from UK, Denmark and Germany) and how cava could be promoted for people to understand its full potential. A very interesting discussion with like-minded cavalovers and experts n their own country.
I must say we were very impressed by the quality of Torelló cavas in general. It is definitely something we could imagine having in our selection some day. Right now it seems like there is a distributor already for Sweden, but lets see, you never know what happens. We will most definitely keep an eye on the house. Even if we cannot distribute the Torelló cavas at the moment, we can most definitely drink them. A great big thank you to Raidel, who introduced us to Torelló. And of course to our new friends Rosó and Tony, who arranged this great day and introduction to the estate. We feel blessed that we were treated to such a lovely visit!
If you wish to visit the estate, Torelló opens their winery for guests once a month. You can check the dates and instructions on www.torello.com.