About The Author:

"Roger, The Wine Guy" is Roger Yazell, CWS. He is a member of the International Wine Guild and has had a long time admiration of wine. After careers in broadcasting, advertising and marketing account management, he explored his love of wine in hospitality, wholesale and retail sales. The intent of Roger's Grapevine is to share stories, history and information that will add to the reader's love, enjoyment and appreciation of wine and sake'.

Questions, requests for topics and comments are always welcome via email: rogerthewineguy@gmail.com.

(Note: The Wine Guy is currently undergoing chemotherapy and this blog will be on hiatus for the duration and into a recovery period. The Wine Guy is planning to celebrate his recovery with a trip to the two wine producing regions in Argentina and that should provide for some interesting new blogs. Meanwhile please enjoy the archives and feel free to email in the interim.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Torres: Spain's First Family of Wine

Torres is Spain’s first family of wine. The family wine making tradition dates back to the 17th century in the Penedes. In 1869 Jamie Torres returned to Spain after establishing himself in the oil and shipping industry and founded the house of Torres, building a winery near Barcelona utilizing grapes from the vineyards of his brother Miguel. Today the 5th generation of the Torres family has become involved in the company that dominates Spanish wine production and has become international in scope. In 1979 Torres opened a winery in Curico, Chile. In the 80’s Marimar Torres began growing grapes and established a winery in The Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, California. The 90’s saw the expansion into distribution with Torres companies supplying both the family… and other fine wines through family distribution companies in China, Sweden and the Netherlands. The company recently became involved in a joint venture distributorship in India that features an alcohol free wine line labeled Natura. Torres wines are now exported to over 130 countries throughout the world.

Not content to just making and distributing fine wine, Miguel A. Torres, the family head and President of Torres has been in the forefront of energy and green conservation issues in the wine industry and was a founder of Primius Familiae Vine (The First Families of Wines) a special society of world-wide wine making families devoted to promoting best practices, social responsibility and ethical standards in the international wine trade. Given their activities plus the fact they made very good wines with a great quality to price ratio resulted in Wine Enthusiast Magazine naming them the Best European Winery in 2006.

Torres best known wines worldwide are the Sangre de Toro line (Blood of the Bull). Moderately priced and of good quality, they are sometimes prized as much for their trademark bulls that hang on a ribbon dangled from the neck foil. The line consists of:

Sangre de Toro Red: A smooth tannin, dark-fruited wine that results from a blend of Garnacha and Carinena done in a very Spanish tradition.

Sangre de Toro White: A crisp, smooth white wine with fruit aromas followed by tastes of apple, pineapple and light spice. The dominant grape is Parellada, an indigenous Spanish wine. It is also one of the Spanish whites found in sparkling Cava.

Sangre de Toro Rose: a cherry colored rose with floral aromas and light fruitiness. This is a rose version of Sangre de Toro Red with the same Granacha-Carinena blend. It is achieved by keeping the skin contact to less than twenty-four hours.

Sangre de Toro Tempranillo: Meaty tannins, smoky aromas, a touch of spice ripe blackberry and strawberry fruit flavors dominate this Catalonian Tempranillo (Torres makes Tempranillo in several different regions of Spain and each is distinct.)

Torres makes a number of other wines. Among the Wine Guy’s favorites are the Torres Coronas and Gran Coronas which blend Tempranillo with up to 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. They also have a 100% Ribera del Douro Tempranillo called Celeste. Celeste is only oaked for 6 months giving both the fruit and the unique terroir of the region more of a chance to stand out. If you discover the wine, buy it now as it is being discontinued in favor of a higher priced label from the region.

All the wines above are from the Torres in Spain, but there are a number of good wines from the Chilean estate. The Miramar Torres winery in Sonoma also produces a very smooth Russian River Chardonnay. Mr. and Mrs. Wine Guy were fortunate enough to tour that estate back in 2004 and can be seen in the accompanying photo (yes, I’ve dropped a few pounds since then!), enjoying said chardonnay in the winery tasting room. Hopefully, we’ll be able to visit the Barcelona home of Bodegas Torres in the future.

For your part, seek out and enjoy a good wine from one of the world’s premiere wine-producing families.

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