members enjoying pre dinner drinks
This was the second of our regular annual tastings at Ca La Iaia hosted by José who always finds the bodega, in this instance bodega Torelló, from DO Penedes. President John Sloggie welcomed 61 members and guests to the tasting and introduced the speaker Paco Torelló who is the owner of the bodega,who turned out to be an enthusiastic larger than life character.
The Can Martí estate has belonged to the family since 1395, and Paco is the 23rd generation. It occupies 135 hectares in the fertile region of Penedès and they have made wines and Cavas since 1951. They cultivate white grape varieties Macabeo, Xarel.lo, Parellada, Chardonnay and Subirat Parent and the reds Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Syrah. Torelló wines and cavas are made with one principal objective: caring for the vines with rigour and passion, to guarantee quality. For this reason the production of vines via winter pruning and the green harvest in the summer is limited. The grapes are transported from the vines to the presses in less than 15 minutes thus avoiding oxidation and/or spontaneous fermentation. All of the grapes are passed across the selection table, bunch by bunch. We tasted two wines and three Cavas. The cost of each wine, where it can be purchased and average score given by members is shown in the list of wines tasted in 2016, which can be found by clicking on “Wines tasted in 2016”.
The first wine was Crisalys blanco 2015 made from 50% Xarel lo and 50% Chardonnay. Harvesting took place on 12 September when the grapes reached the desired degree of maturity, and in boxes of 25 kg. were transported to the winery, where they underwent a rigorous selection table to select only the best grapes. The wine undergoes 12 hours of maceration and is aged for 3 months with its lees and batonnage (stirring). The fermentation was carried out in new French and American oak barrels of 225l. at controlled temperature (16-17º C) for nearly two months. A young white wine, fresh, light and fruity, with an Alcohol by Volume (ABV) of 13.5%, it receives 89 points in the Guía Peñín.
This wine was followed by a 2015 rosado Petjades a 100% Merlot from their vines at Can
Martí. Fermentation is in stainless steel vats at controlled temperature. After decanting it is maintained at 10ºC, clarified and filtered and aged for 3 months with its lees and batonnage. It has a raspberry colour with a violet edge and an aroma of wilted flowers. You can also notice the red and ripe fruit. In the mouth it is powerful with a fruity flavour and good acidity. The ABV is 13.5%
Then came the first Cava Torelló Pàl.lid a 2014 rosado Brut Reserva. Produced by pressing together white (75%) and red (25%) rapes (Xarel lo and Pinot Noir) it undergoes soft pressing to obtain free-run juice. Secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle and it has a minimum of 24 months aging in racks. The colour is a very pale blush with copper notes. In the mouth it is dry and it has an average persistence. The ABV is 11.5%
The second Cava was Torelló Brut Special Edition 2011 blended from Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada from the vines in Can Martí. Harvested manually the production involves soft pressing to obtain free-run juice. Secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle and it has a minimum of 24 months aging in racks. The bottle label covers the whole bottle a tells a story in pictures and words of the history of the bodega and includes the vineyards coordinates on the neck. Bright, pale straw in colour with lime hints. Very dey with white fruit aromas, like ripe apple, pear and melon. It has a velvety texture with fine and persistent bubbles with good acidity and an ABV of 12%. The Guía Peñín gives it 90 points
Finally we tasted Torelló Brut Nature Gran Reserva 2010 a blend of Macabeo, Xarel·lo and Parellada which is harvested and produced like the other Cavas we tasted, but spends a minimum of 36 months aging in stacking racks and 24 months in bottle. This is among the top 10 most highly rated Cava wines (based on critic scores) It has a pale golden yellow colour with green reflections. On the nose there are aromas with notes of butter and toasted bread with background of ripe fruit. On the palate it is broad with well integrated carbon and has a long and persistent finish. It has an ABV of 11.5%.
As Paco had to leave for another appointment in Alicante (it was now 22.00!) President John Sloggie thanked Paco profusely for his enthusiastic presentation.
Members enjoying the tasting
Text and photos by Gaby Ferenczy November 2016