I was fortunate recently to have been invited on a trip to visit Torres wines in Spain and join their harvest festival celebrations in Sitges. A weekend of wine tastings, official lunches and dinners were on the agenda.
I have been to wineries before but this was the first time during the harvest which is when all the action takes place.
Torres are based in Vilafranca which is in the heart of the Penedes region, although they also have operations in Rioja, Chile and California. Torres also have a fantastic visitor centre which I would recommend if you find yourself in this region of Spain.
The winery is on a huge scale. The reds for example are put into vertical steel tanks (about the size of a petrol tanker) and there are 140 of these under one roof! It is mass production but of a very high quality. Torres are also very keen to help protect the planet by producing a large quantity of their own electricity using solar panels.
We were hosted on three occasions by Miguel Torres personally and it was a real pleasure to discuss the wines with the man himself. Over the three days we sampled everything they produce in Spain and I could not find one that I didn't like although I do believe that some don't travel to the UK as well as others. Vina Esmerelda and Gran Vina Sol are two examples that I think taste much better in 30˚c with blue skies and sunshine than on a wet weekday in Leeds.
The reds however are a different story. Packed with ripe fruit flavours there is something for all tastes. I have settled on the following for our list.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo are blended to give this wine a deep red hue, with ochre and brick-red touches from its ageing. The rich aroma is typical of the grape varieties with small red and black berries (cherries and blackcurrants), green coffee beans, liquorice and the characteristic vanilla and leather notes from ageing. On the palate the wine is full and silky with dense, well-structured tannins.
GRAN SANGRE DE TORO
The best Garnacha, Cariñena and Syrah grapes that produce Gran Sangre de Toro are grown in a region famous since the times of the Roman Emperor Augustus for producing the finest Mediterranean wines. All the exuberant aroma traditionally found in an intense, ripe red wine, with a background of fine spices in good balance with perfumed blackberry notes. Full, long finish on the palate.
MAS LA PLANA
100% Cabernet Sauvignon, Torres most prestigious red wine and now known to connoisseurs all over the world. In the Paris Wine Olympiad, the 1970 vintage triumphed over some of the most famous wines including Chateau Latour. Intense aroma showing all the classic characteristics of the native land of Mas La Plana, together with notes of truffle, toast and wild red berry conserve. Great body and breadth on the palate, with juicy tannins that become balanced and elegant.
For more information on Torres visit: www.torres.es