Spicy Spanish Reds for Hearty Fare: A Trio from Torres
Torres 2016 Garnacha Sangre de Toro
With a nose of sun-parched earth, this deep, maroon red smells like standing in a vineyard in Spain on a late summer day! Its baked red plums, black currants and old cardamom give the medium-bodied palate lots of fruit stuffing and spice. The scraggly, drying tannins and punctuated acidity provide grip and vigor. This structure coupled with a moderate finish suggests this should hold well for a few years, even if there is no need and likely little benefit in waiting for the wine to evolve further. That is surely even truer given that on Day Two the wine tasted precisely like it did on Day One. The overnight oxygenation didn’t change anything.
Torres 2015 Ribera del Duero Crianza Pago del Cielo Celeste
This single vineyard wine hails from Valladolid’s Peñafiel, where vines are planted up to 895 meters / 2,936 feet. It is a pure Tempranillo aged 12 months in French and American oak. This wine embraces its barrel treatment, tucking those flavor-derived impressions deftly into the folds of its deeply ripe fruit. Exuding notes of cassis, black raisins and baked fig, this decadently rich wine’s full body is lifted by lavender accents. The firm fruit core dazzles with its sappiness then relinquishes its initial charm to focused, structuring tannins. The lenient acidity tries to pull the moderate fruit concentration into the minerally finish. This is pleasant for those seeking a husky wine now. However, it is not yet ready to drink and missing the complexity to allow the wine to fully flesh out in bottle.
Torres 2014 Priorat Salmos
The vibrant mouthfeel and perky acidity were the first things I noticed about this infusion of Carineña, Syrah and Garnacha. Then, I felt the smooth, gilded tannins welling up on the palate along with the rich, concentrated body. It’s an elegant yet substantial wine generously supported by well-calibrated lift that engages the palate and allows the mind to float into the layers of flavors: blackberry, black currant, shaved pencil and just-lit incense. The finish gives nothing but harmony and a sexy, moreish palate feel. Often, the best wine in a set gives the boldest impression, but that does not necessarily make it the best to enjoy at the moment. This bottling defies that and is by far the most ready wine to sip of this trio.