Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Toro, Toro, Toro!

You'd expect wines called Toro to be big, beefy and bullish. And these reds made from 100% Tempranillo (aka Tinta de Toro) from a region to the west of the more famous Ribera del Duero usually lives up to such a billing. If you like big, meaty wines to go with big meaty, er, meats, this is the place to come. But sometimes Toro can be a bit too bovine for its own good. There's intense and there's painfully intense; there's ripe and there's raisinny ripe. Many in the region still have to learn that louder doesn't mean better.

I've no such complaints about a trio of recent samples from Covitoro, the region's main co-op. The big boy of the three is the 2005 Cañus Verus Viñas Viejas (£13 D Byrne, Noel Young), and while it's not shy on the cojones front, it's the boldness of dark-fruited, iron-tinged old vine intensity rather than an over-zealous winemaker. Several years of life still ahead of it.

At the opposite end of the weight spectrum is the 2007 T Toro Roble Barrel Aged (£6.99 Waitrose), which has a peppery red fruit lightness, almost like Mencia or some lighter Rhône Syrahs. But my favourite of the trio - and the cheapest to boot - is the Balcon de la Villa Tinta de Toro 2006 (£5.99 Marks & Spencer), a cocktail of dark fruits with a sprinkling of brown sugar and tinges of vanilla and iron. Bargain, bring on the rib-eye.


Anonymous said...

I am writing this post representing a group of 4 Portuguese students of Management who are doing their MSc thesis about wine, particularly Port Wine.

We would like to ask your help, completing, if is it possible, our survey about this kind of Wine. Your help will be crucial for us.

In the end of our work, the results will be published here as a recognition mark of your help. Please, go to this url link

and start to contribute to our wine dissertation.

Thank you!

Simon said...

Dear Anonymous,

Have done your survey and would say it'd been put together by people too closely attached to the product.