I’m painfully aware that while I’ve focused in-depth on Portugal, I’ve neglected Spain. I’m sorry about that. In an attempt to begin to redress this balance, here are two rather classy high-end Spanish reds, in rather different styles.
Numanthia Toro 2007 Spain
From ungrafted old vineyards of 50 years and older. 14.5% alcohol. Dense with sweet, ripe blackberry fruit and some earthy, savoury, spicy tarry structure. As well as the chocolatey richness there’s some dry, savoury earthiness, finishing with some drying tannins. I like the way that the sweet fruit and new oak is countered by ample structure and a distinctive savouriness, which saves it from spoofiness, the besetting sin of ambitious Spanish reds. This might age very well. 92/100
Torres Mas La Plana Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Penedes, Spain
14% alcohol. This classic label is a real vin de garde – an ageworthy red that doesn’t show its best young. Nicely focused gravelly, spicy blackcurrant and cherry fruit is to the fore. Fresh with real focus. There’s good structure here with a hint of earthiness alongside the mouth-drying tannins. Taut and structured with nice definition, this will really start to show its best in five years and will probably keep for 20. 92/100
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