The wine of the week: Torelló Microvinificación 2a 18/19

Torelló has decided to share with his clients the results of his interest in experimentation.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
16 September 2023 Saturday 10:32
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The wine of the week: Torelló Microvinificación 2a 18/19

Torelló has decided to share with his clients the results of his interest in experimentation. With this sparkling wine, which they will present this coming week, they inaugurate a new collection resulting from “the will to investigate, to try new things, given that we have an important estate and the means to do so,” according to Toni de la Rosa Torelló, co-director of this project. winegrowing together with his brother Paco. In the coming years they will present new sparkling wines, from one in which they combine wines from up to three vintages to a red Grenache vinified in white to a Microvinificació 2a with second fermentation in a bottle closed with a natural cork stopper. They are also entering the field of sparkling wines made according to the ancestral method (a single continued fermentation in the bottle). The microvinifications that are commercially successful will be consolidated in the portfolio of this Gelida winery (Alt Penedès).

2a refers to the two vintages of the wines with which this first microvinification was made. It is a “limited and unique” edition that inaugurates a project that seeks “new sensations in small quantity productions, whether sparkling wines or still wines.” From the 2018 vintage there is 60% in the coupage, and from 2019 the remaining 40%. Paco de la Rosa Torelló states that “the combination of the two vintages is perfect, taking advantage of the qualities of both vintages.” It is the fruit of organic grapes from their own Can Martí estate, of the varieties xarel·lo (43%), macabeo (31%) and parellada (26%). The 2018 and 2019 vintages were very contrasted in Penedès. 2018 is remembered as a rainy year, in all four seasons of the year, which brought with it a delay in the harvest of ten days compared to recent years and some damage from the downy mildew fungus.

The rainfall on his farm was 822 liters per m2. 2019 will be remembered "as one of the best vintages in recent years", according to Paco de la Rosa Torelló. It was, in general, a dry year, with two very intense heat waves in summer and some rains at the end of July, August and beginning of September "which were very well received on the farm." This Brut Nature with organic certification has been made without the addition of expedition liquor or sugar. The draft was carried out in February 2020 and, therefore, totals a minimum of 42 months of aging in the bottle with its lees. The first disgorgement took place last July 4. From this first vintage, a production of 6,300 bottles comes to the market, all of them in three-quarter-liter format. They are only offered in hospitality and restaurant channels and also in specialized stores.

Microvinificació 2ª 18/19 is straw yellow in color, with some golden reflections. It shows good foaming, with a constant release of fine bubbles that initially form a good crown. It is a very dry Brut Nature, but the ripe fruit with a touch of white flower honey compensates for this dryness. It exhibits notes reminiscent of blood orange and white fruits (mainly apple and pear). It also presents a note of rosemary, lightly toasted bread and an interesting saline final touch. It has a very good acidity and 12º alcohol. It is fine and elegant. It is stylish and sharp. Best enjoyed with a good glass of wine or an open glass of champagne.

It is a very gastronomic sparkling wine. From Torelló they state that "since it is an intense and complex corpinnat, it is more appropriate to accompany it with food, from elaborate tapas to stewed meats or baked fish." Toni de la Rosa Torelló likes to harmonize it with some casserole noodles with pork ribs. His brother Paco prefers it with the delicious veal fricandó with perrechicos (or spring mushrooms) that his grandmother Josefa, the mother of Ernestina, the president of Torelló, cooked. This dish was enjoyed in the dining room of the family farmhouse under a mechanism that served to scare away flies.

The oldest document they have on the history of the family is dated June 17, 1395, and states that the Lord of Gelida established an emphyteusis (census) on the Mas de la Torrevella (current location of the Can Martí estate and his farmhouses, Can Martí de Baix and Can Martí de Dalt) in favor of his direct ancestor Jaume Miquel, with “all his houses, buildings, fields, vineyards, lands, forests, orchards, honors and other possessions, waters, aqueducts, entrances and exits and all its rights and belongings that belong to the Mas or will belong to it in the future, whatever they may be.” Over the centuries the family name changed as a result of successive marriages, until the current one, Torelló, which corresponds to the 22nd and 23rd generation, who retain the property, honoring the mandate of their ancestor, which required that “You and your successors are your own men, alone, natural, mine and mine, and make Mas your home, stay and residence.”

The Can Martí farm occupies 135 hectares in Gelida. Of these, there are about 80 hectares planted with white varieties such as Xarel·lo, Macabeo, Malvasía Riojana and Chardonnay. The red varieties include Grenache, Pinot Noir, Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The soils of the Can Martí estate have been formed from sediments from the Garraf calcareous massif, deposited thousands of years ago, with the presence of accumulations of calcium carbonates that dissolve with the passage of rainwater, and that form a hard layer, about two meters deep, called the petrocalcic horizon. This hard layer limits the availability of water for the vineyard and production, but, according to Torelló, “it is a factor that gives quality to the grapes.” Own vineyards, organic farming, manual harvest, vinification on the property and long aging define Torelló's corpinnat.

They work with the goal that all their products come 100% from their farm. They are self-sufficient with their grapes, and already make wine with indigenous yeasts and bacteria. In 2016 Torelló and the Institut Català de la Vinya i el Vi (Incavi) of the Generalitat started a project to select the yeasts from Finca Can Martí. Thus, for more than three years, Incavi researchers, led by biologist and oenologist Anna Puig, isolated a collection of native yeasts from their organic xarel·lo vineyards at Finca Can Martí. With these yeast strains, in 2019 they already did some experimental micro-runs of sparkling wines to evaluate their oenological potential. They also use 50% rectified concentrated must for their vinifications.

Torelló annually produces around 320,000 bottles of sparkling wines under the Corpinnat seal, 150,000 still wines protected by the DO Penedès (a total of nine references), 2,000 half-liter bottles of extra virgin olive oil from its century-old olive trees and a Marc distillate. 70% of its production is sold in Catalonia, and only 10% in the rest of the national markets. They export the remaining 20%. Russia, Sweden and China are, in this order, its main international markets. The president of the winery, Ernestina Torelló, states that its Torelló wines and sparkling wines “are made with rigor and passion.” Torelló Viticultors has the Biosphere certification, which accredits the international commitment they have acquired to improve sustainability.