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The premium wines of Torres, Penedès, Spain

Miguel Torres, Comercio 22, 08720 Vilafranca del Penedès, Barcelona, Spain
Website: www.torres.es E-mail: export@torres.es
Tel: +34 (0)938 177400

Torres is probably Spain’s best known producer on export markets. Over recent decades they have built up a hugely successful business with quality wines at every level, available in quantities large enough that you’ll find them just about everywhere.

I’ve enjoyed a lot of Torres wines in the past: in particular, the cheap Vin Sol white is a fresh, crisp, characterful effort that has been one of our ‘house’ wines chez Goode. Here I tasted through the range of premium wines. This has where Torres has in the past not quite pulled it off, in my opinion: they’ve made very good wines, but these wines have fallen short of greatness. But this time I was very impressed and found them pretty convincing. My favourite was probably the more traditionally Catalan Grans Muralles. Interestingly, Torres are going to release their first wine from the trendy Priorat region this year (2004): they purchased a vineyard their five years ago.  

UK agent is John E Fells (01442 870 900), and UK availability details will follow in the next few days when I get them.

Torres Fransola Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Penedès, Spain
Lovely forward, aromatic nose with some ripe fruit, a bit of Sauvignon grassiness and good balance. The palate is rich and mouthfilling, with a lovely balance to the fruit and a nice finish. An impressive all-purpose white. Very good/excellent 91/100

Torres Milmanda Chardonnay 2001 Conca de Barbera, Spain
This spends 12 months in new French oak. Nice lemony fruit on the nose combining well with the nutty oak. Broad, creamy, nutty palate with good balance and some fresh acidity. Well put together. Very good/excellent 90/100

Torres Mas Le Plana 1998 Penedès, Spain
100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 18 months in new French oak. Yields of 5 tonnes/hectare; 10 000 cases made. Taut nose shows earthy, chocolatey and herby notes. The palate is quite dense and tannic, showing good fruit and a mineralic, spicy edge. Quite firm but nice. Very good/excellent 90/100

Torres Grans Muralles 1998 Conca de Barbera, Spain
A blend of ancient Catalan varieties: Monastrell, Cariñena, Garnacha, Garró and Samsó. Low yields of 3 tonnes/hectare from licorella and slate soils. 1500 cases made. Brooding, spicy, minerally nose. Lovely dense firm, spicy palate with a minerally character and firm tannins. Very good/excellent 92/100

Torres Reserva Real 1999 Penedès, Spain
A blend of Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc with Merlot, 6000 bottles produced. Tight but alluring nose of herbs, minerals and tar together with elegant berry fruits. Not over the top. The palate shows great balance, with chewy, savoury structure and elegant spicy fruit. Complex. Very good/excellent 92/100

Torres Manso de Valesco Viejas Vinas 1999 Curico, Chile
A contrast in style to the Spanish wines. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from 100 year old vines. Sweet, rich blackcurrant fruit nose with some spice and herb notes. Delicious ripe fruit on the palate backed up by spicy structure. Very well balanced. Very good/excellent 90/100

Jean Léon Gran Reserva Cabernet 1994 Penedès, Spain 
Back to Spain, and a wine from Torres-owned Jean Léon. Traditional-style elegant herby spicy nose leads to a densely structured, spicy palate with an earthy, minerally character. Savoury. Very good+ 88/100

Marimar Torres Pinot Noir 2000 Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
Nice open herby nose showing sweet fruit with some undergrowthy notes. The palate is savoury and chewy, offering lovely varietal typicity with some sweetness to the herb-tinged fruit. Very good+ 89/100

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