Cava discovery (9) Augustí Torelló Mata

Augustí Torelló Mata founded a Cava house that has becomeone of the most distinctive in the region. He’s also written a book about the region, Cava where are you headed? He’s famous for the Kripta wines which are Gran Reservas bottled in distinctively shaped bottles.

He was born in 1935 to a family of tailors and musicians. His grandfather was the musical director of the philharmonic orchestra of Philadelphia. When he finished school, Spain was in a difficult place because of the civil war, so he decided to leave the family trades and went to study wine and viticulture in Valencia. Taking the knowledge he acquired, he opened an analysis laboratory in 1953 while he was just 18 years old. He worked with some of the big companies in the region, and gained enough experience that he wanted to make his own Cava house.

So he started his own winery, with its DNA being the indigenous varieties of the region, using only Trepat for the rosé. He is a big fan of Macabeo, and usually has at least 40% in the blend. Second might be Parellada or Xarel.lo.

Torelló Mata have 40 hectares of their own vineyards and source from another 150 sites. They make 500 000 bottles, so they are medium-sized, but they don’t do young Cavas, with the youngest 2.5 years on the lees. The average age of their Cavas is now five years on lees, which means they have 2.5 million bottles in their cellars.

They don’t buy must or base wine, but instead make everything on site. They are organic, and pay double the going rate for grapes (they pay €700-750 per ton). When they press, the yield is 480-530 litres per ton, which is quite low.  


Augustí Torelló Mata Gran Reserva Brut Nature Guarda Superior 2016
11.5% alcohol. Disgorged March 2023. This is fruity and lively with nice cherry, citrus and pear, with fine toasty notes. Lovely precision and freshness here with juicy citrus on the palate. Fruit-driven and incisive. There’s nice intensity, too: very fresh and linear. 92/100 (€18)

Augustí Torelló Mata Ubac Gran Reserva Brut 2017
4 g/l dosage, disgorged April 2023. 50% Parellada this vintage (not normal). Pithy, bright and expressive with lots of fruit. This has nice freshness: it’s very bright and expressive with lovely lemony fruit and a nice bitter twist on the finish. 90/100 (€15)

Augustí Torelló Mata Barrica Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2018
12% alcohol. Disgorged March 2023. Monovarietal of Macabeo from a single plot, vines almost 60 years old. One-third are picked green to maintain acidity, fermented in inox, another third is picked at normal time and stainless steel ferment, and the last third is picked at the same time and fermented in 500 l Tronçais oak from Seguin Moreau, and the barrel isn’t toasted. This portion has battonage three times a week. This has a subtle creamy, toasty edge to the sweet pear and white peach fruit. There’s a nice savoury edge here and a sense of finesse, with a creamy texture. This is really impressive with nice texture, and the oak adds an interesting dimension without being obvious. 92/100 (€24)

Augustí Torelló Mata Trepat Cava Brut Reserva 2020
11.5% alcohol. Disgorged April 2023. Grafted in one arm of Trepat with a cordon-trained Parellade. So the same trunk has two varieties on it. 7 g/l dosage. Juicy and bright with some citrus notes but also a core of negroni: there’s some orange peel, red cherry, even some strawberry. Vivid and lively with a nice crystalline finish. Good balance here. 90/100

Augustí Torelló Mata Kripta Origen 5 Cava Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2016
Vibrant aromatics of aniseed, herbs, grapefruit pith, cherry and lime. Pungent and aromatic. The palate is vivid with high acidity. Such a distinctive wine showing off the real personality of Penedès Cava. Bright and expressive with lime oil and lemon character, and great acidity. 93/100

Augustí Torelló Mata Kripta Origen 10 Cava Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2013
11.5% alcohol. Golden in colour this is taut and energetic with some powerful lime and grapefruit as well as some complex toast and nuts. Powerful with good acidity and concentrated flavour, but despite the richness this is fresh and precise. Juicy and linear. 93/100

Augustí Torelló Mata Kripta Origen 15 Gran Anada Cava Gran Reserva 2008
11.5% alcohol. Lovely depth here, but it’s still really fresh with lovely complexity. Fresh citrus fruit with some tangy lemon peel, green olive and wax notes. No sense of heaviness and some subtle toasty depth. Has purity and finesse with saltiness on the finish. Restrained and complex. 94/100

Augustí Torelló Mata Kripta Origen 10 Cava Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2011 Spain
11.5% alcohol. The distinctive thing about this Cava is that it comes in a remarkable extended egg-shaped bottle with no angles – it’s almost like a glass amphora – and this affects the second fermentation, giving a natural sort of battonage. The result is a Cava that is wonderfully complex, vinous and gastronomic with notes of patisserie, almonds, cherries, pears and even some peachy richness. It has a touch of savouriness, and a spicy bite on the finish with some subtle bitter hints, as well as some vanilla sweetness. Relatively low in pressure, with a gentle mousse that helps accentuate the pastry and vanilla sweetness. This is very textural. 93/100

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