Helen Coburn meets Spanish wine maker Miquel Torres, who was in Dublin recently to present a tasting of some of his core wines, distributed by Findlaters
Apr 13 2012
Miquel Torres on his recent visit to Dublin
Spanish wine maker Miquel Torres has now passed the age of 70 and is making no bones about it. Not that he should, for he can certainly argue that he has the achievements to match. Pushing out boundaries has been the hallmark of his career, for, while retaining Spanish grape varieties and traditional sites at the centre of his winemaking approach, he has worked steadily to increase the range of grapes in top Spanish wines while, at the same time extending his operations beyond Spain, most notably in Chile.
Torres was in Dublin recently to stage a tasting of some of his core wines, now distributed here by Findlaters. A selection of whites kicked off the tasting but it was when we got to the Gran Sangre de Toro 2008 (€9) that I realised just how long these wines have been in Ireland, for it was actually the very first Spanish wine I ever tasted. On checking, I learned that the wine has been produced in some shape or form since the 1870s, with this particular version being offered since 1954. It still tastes good, and still has those chocolate and vanilla aromas, with soft fruit and gentle spices on the palate - a good value winter warmer. For a couple of years, however, my favourite Torres wine has been Celeste, an elegant 100% tempranillo, with a star decorated label that looks great on the table and makes it a good dinner party wine. The 2009 is nicely balanced with warm plum and berry fruits and delivers well on its €14 price.
The top wine shown was the Torres icon Mas la Plana (€37). Like all serious wines, it varies by vintage and I found the alcohol a bit perceptible on this 2007. That’s not something that bothers every drinker, though, and the flavours weren’t overpowered. There was lots of rich plum and blackcurrant to savour and the wine will be able to stand some years ageing.