A Wine Lover’s Near Weekly Review Of $15 Wines – A Penedes, Spain Tempranillo

This week we review a wine vinified from Spain’s signature red grape, Tempranillo that was blended with some Cabernet Sauvignon. This offering comes from the northeastern part of the country, near the French border, home to the Torres family for three centuries. The Torres winery was founded in 1870. Their website is brimming with information such as the family tree, environmental policy, and extensive wine tourism suggestions. Today’s companion wine is a somewhat cheaper Tempranillo from northwestern Spain.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY
All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price. Wine Reviewed Torres Coronas Tempranillo 2008 13.5 % alcohol about $13. In the absence of marketing materials let’s start by quoting the back label. “Coronas has been and continues to be a silent testimony to our history. A wine that my family decided to make more than 100 years ago, combining the varieties of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon. Today its quality is recognized in more than 120 countries across the world. Unmistakable for its intense colour, and lush aromas of cherry and black plums on a background of green coffee. It is aged in oak barrels to achieve a soft, rounded sensation on the palate with a big finish. Serving Suggestion: Ideal with red meats, creamy cheeses and traditional paellas. Serve at 17-18º C (about 62.5-64.5º F) .” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was dark and full bodied, tasting of dark cherries. Japanese rice crackers slightly weakened it but it rebounded when I gnawed on a Wasabi pea. My initial meal centered on slowly cooked beef ribs. In response the wine’s oak came quite forward. I am not a fan of oak, but this time I was pleased. When paired with the side dish of okra in a tomato and garlic sauce the wine was thinner presenting somewhat harsh acidity and the taste of dark cherries. I doused the meat with Louisiana hot sauce and the libation responded with dark cherries and good balance. The fruit juice candy dessert partially muted the wine but it was still fairly powerful.

The following meal was a sadly dry barbecued chicken breast with roasted garlic (I paid a price for not doing it myself). This red Spaniard provided great length. It was fairly complex and dark with lots of fruit. In response to potatoes roasted in chicken fat this liquid was mouth filling long but salt came through, almost destroying everything. Things worked better with the other side dish; in response to green beans swimming in tomato sauce this libation was dark, long, and plummy.

My final meal was a box of Baked Ziti Siciliano. The Temp was round and well balanced. It offered soft tannins and some chocolate, and was very long. The side dish of leeks sauteed in olive oil slightly dampened the wine but brought out additional chocolate. A fresh fig rendered this drink somewhat metallic.

Final verdict. I would definitely buy this wine again even if some of the pairings weren’t all that good. You may be able to get it for substantially less on the Internet. I’ll probably try some other Miguel Torres offerings but have no plans to buy his $40 wines, some of which come from Chile.

Levi Reiss authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine wine with the right foods and people. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. Visit his Italian travel website www.travelitalytravel.com

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