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Recaredo

Scintillating, Grower Champagne-Quality Sparkling from Alt Penedès
Recaredo

Never before have we come across a (non-Champagne) sparkling wine producer where the quality and unique character of the wines, not to mention the quality of the farming, match the finest growers of Champagne. Yet that is precisely what you get with Recaredo. This is not to say Recaredo’s wines taste like Champagne. No, this is the Mediterranean; the grape varieties and soils are entirely different. Even so, Recaredo’s wines convey many of the virtues that draw many of us to fine grower Champagne: intensity of flavour, unique personality and sense of place. And, of course, they taste great, too.
 
The estate’s origins date back to 1924 when Josep Mata Capellades decided to build a cellar under his house and cultivate his own vineyard in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, a village in the heart of Catalonia’s Alt Penedès region. He called his new winery Recaredo after his father, Recaredo Mata Figueres. From humble beginnings, Mata grew his holdings while forging his distinctive style, pioneering the production of brut nature sparkling wines, using oak barrels and crafting extended lees-aged wines with the Xarel·lo grape variety. Mata’s sons pressed ahead in their father’s footsteps, and today, it is his talented grandson, Ton Mata, who heads up the winery.
 
Recaredo is a pioneer on many levels; not only was it the first producer in the Penedès region to be certified biodynamic (in 2010), but it uses exclusively estate-grown fruit, and all the grapes are picked by hand and vinified in its own cellars. Ton Mata’s philosophy has long been about crafting wines of place rather than conforming to a particular style. For this reason, Recaredo left the sprawling Cava D.O. in 2018 to join Corpinnat, an organisation of 12 quality-focused growers that functions like its own appellation. Including organic farming, Corpinnat’s manifesto includes arguably the strictest guidelines overseeing any sparkling production in the world. Crucially, the syndicate includes only wineries farming in the heart of Penedès—a region whose traditional-method sparkling wine history dates back to the end of the 19th century.

 

As you can read in our producer article, Recaredo’s practice in the vineyard and cellar is second to none. The vineyards lie within 25km of the cellar in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, an area of predominantly calcareous soils dominated by the Montserrat Mountains. Xarel·lo accounts for 60% of Recaredo’s plantings, and the vines are dry-farmed, often ploughed by horse and contain many old vines dating to the 1940s and ’50s. The work in the cellar is no less exacting, down to native yeast fermentations, hand-riddling and manual disgorgement of each bottle. Importantly, the wines draw their unique character from low yields—often half the quantity allowed under the Corpinnat banner—and extended lees aging. Even the entry-level Terrers spends at least 30 months on lees, rising to an Egly-like 12 years for the top cuvée.

 
All of Recaredo’s wines stem from a single vintage and are bottled without dosage. And like all the world’s great fizz, they are first and foremost wines; they come into their own at the table. “These are more than just sparkling wines—they are long-aged white wines. The bubbles must allow you to see the wine; they must not hide the wine,” says Ton Mata. When tasting in the context of a meal, Recaredo’s wines take on another level of complexity, constantly evolving with air, leading you on a journey of flavour and intricacy. We fell in love with these brilliant, distinctive wines in Spain last year. We hope you will follow suit.

The Wines

Recaredo Corpinnat Terrers Brut Nature 2019 (Disg. June 2023)

Recaredo Corpinnat Terrers Brut Nature 2019 (Disg. June 2023)

Biodynamic. 57% Xarel·lo, 25% Macabeu, 17% Parellada, 1% Monastrell. Aged for 39 months on lees, Terrers is made from fruit grown in Recaredo’s own vineyards, all rooted in the calcareous soils of the Alt Penedès region. Each year, the blend can include fruit from as many as 65 small parcels drawn from Recaredo’s vines in Serral del Roure, Serral del Vell, Pedra Blanca, Marçaneta and the elevated Montpedrós vineyard at 455 metres. The base wines for Terrers are raised in tank, giving a super bright and fluid wine with textured stone fruit and bursts of citrus alongside an elegant palate marked by notes of herb and spice and creamy, textured lees-aging notes.


“Terrers is a vivid, expressive and instantly-gratifying blend with its sweet herb, light orange peel and crusty sourdough bread, bright-toned but far from simple as it opens with fleshier yellow apple and blossom notes. There's a welcome, measured dose of Catalan punchiness in the blend, but the overall impression is one of completeness and finesse.”
92 points, Tom Hewson, Catalunya Sparkling Wine Report (Tim Atkin MW)
“Complex, extremely subtle and well balanced. Doesn’t taste like champagne, but why should it? Very well made. Super-refreshing with a little grip on the end.”
Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com
“Mouth-filling yet so clean and bright, layers of sea spray, dried apple, strong general minerality, touches of cinnamon toast with lime and pink grapefruit brightening. Quite delicate and understated but comes with an authority of texture and drive. Subtle but frisky bubbles. Very pure feeling too. And delicious. Wildly drinkable; fine expression.”
93 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“It’s quiet to start. Flint and roasted cashews, crushed white flowers, a hint of pink fruit. Then comes the creaminess and licks of smoke—grilled peach with pastry weight but it’s all very fine mousse lifting the whole flavour profile. It’s pleasantly bitter with a touch of warmth, a cinnamon dust tingle to the very close of things. Yummy.”
93 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Recaredo Corpinnat Terrers Brut Nature 2019 (Disg. June 2023)
Recaredo Corpinnat Intens Rosat Brut Nature 2019 (Disg. Nov. 2022)

Recaredo Corpinnat Intens Rosat Brut Nature 2019 (Disg. Nov. 2022)

Biodynamic. Recaredo’s fascinating Rosat is made exclusively from Monastrell grown in the Serral de Vell (250 metres) and Marçaneta (200 metres) vineyards. Ton Mata prefers to stay away from the pale style of rosé as he doesn’t believe this on-trend style fits the character of the Alt Penedès. So, against the current fashion, it has an intense ruby colour drawn from six hours of skin contact. Despite the intensity of the colour, it has the subtlety and elegance of a fine Blanc de Blancs, coupled with vinous texture and piercing red-fruit flavours. Aged in bottle for 32 months, it finishes with biscuity complexity and pleasant twist of Mourvèdre savouriness that works beautifully at the table.

“Very aromatic, rose hip tea, pot pourri, sourdough bread, some dried cranberry and faint game meat elements with wild herbal inflections and some violet lift. Creamy texture with a hazy, almost chalky edge, fine tannins included with a freshness yet strong savoury undertow, the finish decidedly firm yet mouth-watering and fresh. Bright, light bubbles. Red fruits, florals, nuttiness. Beautiful. Such a sense of complexity and uniqueness. A fine wine first, it feels.”
94 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“I’m so drawn to this. Pink Lady apple, strawberry, raspberry, rose perfume, hibiscus. You get it, all the delicious pink and red colours. Strawberries and cream fill the palate but there’s a pinch to bubbles giving it a savoury, racy edge and then it’s more creamy in the aftertaste. There’s more. Cranberries and blood orange finish with a bitter tang and oyster shell ‘mineral’ feel in the finale. Very friendly wine. On its own or with food.”
94 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Recaredo Corpinnat Intens Rosat Brut Nature 2019 (Disg. Nov. 2022)
Recaredo Corpinnat Subtil Brut Nature 2018 (Disg. Nov. 2022)

Recaredo Corpinnat Subtil Brut Nature 2018 (Disg. Nov. 2022)

Biodynamic. 100% Xarel·lo, Subtil is sourced from the Serral del Roure estate, which ranges in altitude from 210 to 285 metres. The soils here are loamy and characterised by a relatively even balance of sand, silt and clay. There is little more clay in the soil than in Serral del Vell, resulting in a tendency to produce a rounder, more mouthfilling wine. A portion of the base wine is fermented in Stockinger barrel, which lends more savoury complexity to this bottling. It ages for 36 months in the bottle and is disgorged by hand. The 2018 is a brilliant, suave expression of Catalonia’s signature grape variety, with a core of pulpy, driving stone fruit and a long, chalky, bone-dry finish.

“It has 11.5% alcohol with very good freshness, reflecting a cooler year, and there is some spiciness and a yeasty touch with a medicinal and balsamic twist and a very tasty finish, almost salty, long, lively and with a bitter twist. This was recently disgorged (all bottles have the disgorgement date on the back label) after two years and eight months sur lie.”
94 points, Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
“Savoury and sweet patisserie scents, preserved lime, stony mineral elements, faint toast and dried apple with whiffs of vanilla cream, sea spray and aniseed. Texture is amazing here, strong currency of the fine white wine underlying, savoury and minerally, with a lighter, lower atmosphere of bubbles that seems to only lend complexity rather than star. A touch of sugared bun finishes with briny minerality. Exceptional length and persistence, with a sense of delicacy, purity and verve. Drinks beautifully.”
95 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“Love the individual expression of this one grape. It represents quite understated power here, apples and cold smoke, papaya, herbs—all on an iron bed, with that type of steely vibration that last for a while. Savoury and quite unique in its suit. Lovely.”
94 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Recaredo Corpinnat Subtil Brut Nature 2018 (Disg. Nov. 2022)
Recaredo Corpinnat Serral del Vell Brut Nature 2017 (Disg. June 2023)

Recaredo Corpinnat Serral del Vell Brut Nature 2017 (Disg. June 2023)

Biodynamic. 87% Xarel·lo, 13% Macabeu. This striking single-vineyard wine takes its name from the sloping Serral del Vell estate overlooked by the Montserrat mountains. The soil of the Serral del Vell plateau contains calcareous lumps and quite a bit of limestone from the Serra del Mar and the Serra Catalana, which were deposited in the area due to erosion. From these lean, rocky soils and these mature vines, Recaredo is searching for the truest expression of the site’s most mineral soils (containing 33% active limestone).

Only the Xarel·lo base wines are fermented in large-format oak. Recaredo prefers to use tanks for their Macabeu. Yields from Recaredo vineyards dipped to 26.5 hl/ha in 2017, and you can feel the fleshy intensity and low-yield energy coursing through the palate. With air, the 2017 develops some lovey nutty complexity, yet the style rests more on purity and salty-mineral impact than simple autolytic notes and dosage despite the lengthy 64 months on lees.

“Serral del Vell is a star, channelling all the salty-mineral focus that Xarel-lo can draw from these soils. Bright mandarin and lime rind aromatics, softened a touch by Macabeo's peachiness and lifted by lavender florals and subtle fresh nut lees character. Superb.”
95 points, Tom Hewson, Catalunya Sparkling Wine Report (Tim Atkin MW)
“All their wines are Brut Nature, and so is the 2017 Serral del Vell, a blend of 87% Xarel.lo and 13% Macabeo. They look for the expression of the soil here, narrower and more direct, with more tension and with tons of elegance from the aging with the lees, very integrated and balanced, keeping the acidity. It developed an acute note of licorice with time in the glass. It was disgorged after 56 months sur lie, because demand outgrows supply. They have 47,000 bottles of this vintage, which should last them for two years, so the 2018 will have a longer aging in bottle when it's released.”
95 points, Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
“A huge volume of perfume, dried flowers, apple, fennel, buttered cinnamon buns, ginger and sea spray. The palate is acute, tightly wound, super minerally with veins of racy brine, crushed rock and slate lancing lime and crunchy green apple characters – a dominant and proud feature, enlivening the palate wildly. The fizz is frisky but a back seat. Gentle palate staining of apple, ginger, cinnamon and brine. Brilliant, vivid, alive.”
95 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“Such detailed perfume! Almond blossom, waxy quality, candle wax, frangipani aroma, white stone fruit, nectarine stone bitterness, white flowers. Very pretty. Acidity and texture here are like talcum powder, chalky but very fine and sort of squeaky vibrating at a high pitch. Amazing finesse and elegance.”
95 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Recaredo Corpinnat Serral del Vell Brut Nature 2017 (Disg. June 2023)
Recaredo Corpinnat Reserva Particular Brut Nature 2013 (Disg. Sept. 2022)

Recaredo Corpinnat Reserva Particular Brut Nature 2013 (Disg. Sept. 2022)

Biodynamic. 56% Macabeu, 44% Xarel·lo. Recaredo’s Reserva Particular was created in 1962 by Josep Mata Capellades, who wanted to unearth the delicacy and subtle complexity of long-aged sparkling wines in the Penedès setting. The Xarel·lo and Macabeu for this bottling are drawn from some of Recaredo’s oldest vines, planted between 1950 and 1955 in sloping clay soils that give this cuvée its breadth and more traditional old-school personality. Aged for 100 months before release, it’s a beautifully weighted and engagingly complex wine with more classical, old-school Penedès notes of menthol, toasted nuts and spice alongside a refined., delicate mousse flecked with Mediterranean herbs, anise and more spice. Serve this at the table, much as you would a fine, mature white wine (which it is!)





“There is great freshness and minerality in the 2013 Reserva Particular, reflecting a very cold and rainy vintage when the wine was produced with a blend of 56% Macabeo and 44% Xarel.lo and disgorged after 99 months with lees in bottle. There are notes of lemongrass, caramel, toast, camphor and bay leaf with the classical yeasty notes of brioche and bread dough. It's balsamic and medicinal and has a very lively palate with almost imperceptible bubbles, which are subtle and integrated and give the wine texture and freshness but it's secondary.”
95 points, Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
“Wonderful, evocative scents of preserved lemon, wild herbs, maritime freshness, dried stone fruits, almost a touch of custard but a sense of savouriness a curious and delightful override. The palate is quite generous and rich, creamy, lightly honeyed and toasty with hazy apple juice, lemon curd with strong briny elements. There’s a course of low key but uplifting bubbles. Finishes stony, fresh-dry and pleasingly bitter-herbal, lingering incredibly and with a light effervescence going on and on. Lots on here; fabulous journey.”
94 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“It has a pearly glow, this wine. Like a smudged lens. Maybe this bottle, maybe age? Anyway, it’s quite shy on the nose at first, so let’s start with flavours—bitter preserved lemons, rock salt, brine and a wild honey character. Yoghurty palate. Very unique combination. Salty shortbread and a nutty character. Chewy acidity. Funky. Briny. Bitter. Mint, aniseed, cumin. Peculiar, different to others, perhaps due to age and development. I like it’s slight quirkiness. Could go 94 but…”
93 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Recaredo Corpinnat Reserva Particular Brut Nature 2013 (Disg. Sept. 2022)
Recaredo Corpinnat Turó d'en Mota de Recaredo Brut Nature 2009 (Disg. May 2023)

Recaredo Corpinnat Turó d'en Mota de Recaredo Brut Nature 2009 (Disg. May 2023)

Biodynamic. Xarel·lo from another planet! Described by Tom Hewson as “one of the world’s most remarkable sparkling wines”, the Turó d’en Mota cuvée is sourced from a unique site within the Serral del Vell vineyard. It’s made from just under one hectare of goblet-trained Xarel·lo vines, planted in 1940 at almost 300 metres on the north side of the hill from which it takes its name. Cropped at 22 hl/ha, the wine ferments in barrel and rests on lees over winter with occasional stirring. It then ages in bottle for at least 12 years (156 months for this release) before the first disgorgement, as indicated on every bottle.

When the wine was first released in 2008—the 1999 vintage—Turó d’en Mota was the first pure Xarel·lo produced in the region. Today, it is widely considered one of the great, if not the greatest, sparkling wines from Spain. Luis Gutiérrez regularly rates the wine in the high nineties (97 points for the 2008) and little wonder. Although far from Champagne, it ages like the great grower wines to the north, developing boundless complexity while remaining alive, vibrant and super detailed. Sheer class. The 2009 and 2010 vintages we have tasted are simply extraordinary: racy, mineral and remarkably vivid and detailed.

“Old vine Xarel-lo from a single parcel on calcareous soils on the Recaredo estate in Sant Sadurni. Fermented in 300l barrels. The 2009 is a stunning picture of subtle, complex maturity, with all the rusticity of Xarel-lo transformed into a wine of constantly-shifting colours and textures; there's a concentrated, cooked apple and salted lemon drive, deep veins of leather and cinnamon, a hint – but not the weight – of butterscotch and honey and beautiful fig and marmalade nuances. Despite the evolved aromatics, these wines have a rippling, fluid texture that is so unexpected.”
96 points, Tom Hewson, Catalunya Sparkling Wine Report (Tim Atkin MW)
“A potent, complex, layered sparkling wine. There’s strong umami credentials here, maritime elements, truffle, green apple, faint dried citrus peel, alpine herbs, aniseed and wild herbs galore. Supple in texture yet huge freshness and sense of energy, very light, low key bubbles but they’re there in an effervescent kind of way, almost a trill of tiny fizz over anything else. The palate staining persistence and continuing tickle of bubbles scintillating. A superb sparkling.”
96 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“Big flavour energy. This is very complex. Very appealing. Nougat, marzipan, hint of truffle, halva. Apple crumble tart. Big oyster shell aftertaste. Slippery texture. Vanilla slice, ricotta sweet filling in a savoury salty crunchy shell. There’s that leesy complexity with fine detail and a hint of sweetness but it’s stepping into the savoury and salty zone overall. Wowza, so good.”
96 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Recaredo Corpinnat Turó d'en Mota de Recaredo Brut Nature 2009 (Disg. May 2023)

“They are the best producer of sparkling wine from Spain.” Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate



“‘First Growths’ of Cava. It was like being elevated to a higher level of complexity, a thrilling example of tense, mineral-rich Cava that has a distinct Champagne-like personality.Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate



“I’m not sure if there is any other sparkling wine producer in the world who works with such strict standards… Congratulations to the Mata family and to winemaker Ton Mata for such achievement. There is a sense of energy and harmony in their wines that is impressive; they are all highly recommended.” Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate

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