Visiting Torres, one of Spain's most important wine producers
Part 2, Milmanda and Grans Muralles

There  are 6000 hectares of vines in the Conca de Barberà region, with Torres and Codorniu the biggest players. The Milmanda castle dates from Medieval times, and from this property Torres make two single-vineyard wines. Milmanda is a single-vineyard Chardonnay, fermented and matured in French oak, spending 4–6 months on lees. Grans Murrales is a red blend: the idea here was to make a big wine with no Cabernet, Merlot or Syrah, instead relying on Spanish varieties. 

‘Milmanda’ means ‘small castle’. This was originally built by the Visigoths, and it was then fortified by the Arabs. It has a documented history of over 800 years. In the 16th century it became a palace. The property is 400 hectares in all, with 300 hectares of vineyards. Of these there are 85 hectares planted with Chardonnay, although only 15 of these are used for Milmanda. 

Looking across to the neighbouring Cistercian monastery

The climate here is a combination of Mediterranean and continental. There are very cool nights, but also some maritime influence. The soils are silt and clay, overlying limestone rich in calcium carbonate. The portions of the vineyard without stones have deeper soils, rich in silt, and these are the bits best for Chardonnay. There are also extremely rocky portions with very little soil that suit the red varieties best. These are adjacent to the dramatic old walls of the Cistercian monastery next door, and these vineyards have been cultivated since the monks introduced vines here in the 13th century.

Grans Murrales is made from Garnacha, Cariñena, Monastrell and other local varieties such as Garro and Samso. Torres are actively prospecting for lost varieties, for example by putting adverts in local papers. 


Torres Milmanda Chardonnay 2008 Conca de Barberà, Spain
Rich, intense, toasty, nutty and rounded. Quite lively and spicy. Rich with attractive ripe apple and nectarine fruit. Rounded, rich and seamless with a broad texture. 92/100

Torres Milmanda Chardonnay 2009 Conca de Barberà, Spain
Fresh with citrus, ripe apple and pear fruit. Less rich than the 2008. Some toast, spice and mineral notes. Midweight and taut with nice acidity. 91/100

Torres Milmanda Chardonnay 2010 Conca de Barberà, Spain
Nicely textured showing pear and peach fruit with some spice and nuttiness. Well integrated oak. Rich but balanced with nice depth and precision. 91/100

Torres Grans Muralles 2010 Conca de Barberà, Spain
Powerful, rich, sweet, ripe and vivid with berry fruits to the fore. Fresh and well developed with nicely managed tannins. A lovely ripe wine. 93/100

Torres Grans Muralles 2009 Conca de Barberà, Spain
Ripe and sweetly fruited with dense, spicy berry fruits. Very sweet but with a savoury, spicy, grippy edge. A ripe, lush wine but it still has good definition. Hints of chocolate and spice. 93/100

Torres Grans Muralles 2008 Conca de Barberà, Spain
Lovely perfume with a floral, violet edge to the berry fruits and a hint of meatiness. The palate is spicy and meaty with a lively grippy finish. I really like it now but I find it a bit bretty so I’m not sure how it will develop. 92/100

Torres Grans Muralles 2007 Conca de Barberà, Spain
Spicy, savoury and rich with nicely intense sweet blackberry and black cherry fruit, and a strongly spicy, savoury, bold quality. Nice weight. Rich with some spicy oak. Needs time still. 93/100

See a short film of this visit:


Wines tasted 07/12  
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