Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
Copyright all rights reserved
All food photos are of REAL food with NO photoshop
The dashing and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM goes to the land of flamenco and Jamon Iberico to discover the wines of…
MIGUEL Torres…some distance from Barcelona, the capital of Andalucia. Arguably Spain’s most renowned Winery, Torres is like the famous E a& J Gallo winery of California. The leading Spanish brand that the UK imports is Torres. One cool Autumn morning I woke early to the alarm from my trusty Breitling; after a swim and jolly good breakfast in the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona I drove to the renowned winery. It took some 2 hours before I arrived at Vilafranca del Penedès in the heart of Catalunya. I was very happy to be welcomed warmly by…
Jaime Torres Vendrell founded the company. Well aware of the importance of logistics, the company headquarters and winery was built opposite the train station.
As Torres winery grew in fame and importance, His Majesty King Alphonse XIII to visited the winery. A grand Lunch was served to the King and VIP guests in a 500,000 litre wooden cask!
In between was the Spanish Civil War and other momentous events…like the terrible second World War…but let us move on to more positive things…like in
A new white wine fermentation technique under controlled temperatures was introduced.
The wine “Gran Coronas Etiqueta Negra 1970” won an award at the World Wine Olympics organised by Gault-Millau in Paris.
A new phase and new innovations in red wine production. Red wine production was improved with improved fermentation processes, working with wine from stock of a more reduced and controlled yield per hectare. This is to obtain higher quality wines. Oak ageing was perfected to emphasize the importance of the grape’s organic tannins above those from the toasted wood and barrel.
On a VIP tour of the winery and its high tech environment friendly facilties..I was impressed. Wineries are no stranger to me, as I am an International Wine Judge and The Travelling Gourmet TM. Suffice ot to say: I know a world class winery when I see one. It reminded me of the E & J Gallo Winery in California to which you cannot visit…unless you are specially invited. My dear buddy, the late Dr. George Thoukis was the Chief Winemaker of Gallo and a true “Professor” of Oenology and Winemaking, as humble as he was knowledgable.
The Torres winery is cleverly designed to be gravity fed and no expense has been spared on the equipment like the pneumatic membrane pressoirs and stainless steel fermentation tanks.
The spartan winery is a masterpiece of architecture in the minimalist “Zen” style. After the extensive tour it was time for the BEST part! WINE Tasting!! Hooray!
Vina Esmeralda Rose is made with Garnacha Tinta. An appealing delicate, seductive pale salmon-pink in color. Lemon marmalade perfume with hints of a rose flavoured Arabian dessert with a dry and fine palate. Wonderful on a warm summer’s day or in the tropics with a Thai Pomelo Salad, Salmon and Tuna Sushi or the classic Mesclun Salad with a light Vinaigrette dressing!
Long live the King!
Just as Elvis is the King of Rock and Roll so Coronas is the King of Tempranillo that iconic Spanish grape variety! Mr Juan Torres Casals registered it as a trademark on 7 February 1907. Having celebrated its 100th anniversary, it is one of the oldest trademarks in the Spanish wine making world. Hypnotic deep ruby red colour. A lovely wine if great intensity and concentration…aromas of ripe black cherry plus and mixed spices and Sarawak Pepper with nuances of charred oak. Dark fruits of the forest on the palate make this wine excellent with meats and Iberico Ham as well as Kurobuta Pork and Tenderloin Steak with black pepper sauce. Fine palate pleasing tannins that have been nicely structured by oak aging..delight the connoisseur.
VICTOR in Black…
which reminds me of the movie “Good Guys wear black” starring Karate Champion Chuck Norris…only here it is “Good wines wear black” for in the…
MOST respected Paris Wine Olympiad the Wine in Black beat the celebrated Bordeaux Chateau Latour! So who is the mysterious Nectar of the Gods robed in ninja black?…None other than Gran Coronas Mas La Plana 2012! Numerous other prestigious awards have been won by this remarkable wine, including the Gold Medal, International Wine
Challenge 2017. Crafted from the Burgundian grape, the iconic Cabernet Sauvignon, the journey to a great wine starts with meticulous fermentation in stainless steel under controlled temperature of 25 to 28°C for 7 days. Aging in French oak of which 85% are new barrels is the next step to create this dry red which has only 1.2g/liter of residual sugar. Aging potential is up to 18 years and this complex and robust red with cassis and frutti di bosco (red and black berries) flavours is simply divine with game and roast meats like Steak, Lamb, Venison, Wild Boar and the classic Canard a l’orange as well as Peking Duck!
Sweet and Secret...what better wine to serve with a delectable dessert than Torres Secret de Priorat. The name brings to mind Bond…James Bond 007, but is actually a homage to the Carthusian monks who came to Priorat in 1095 and Suprise! Suprise!… cultivated grapes. This small DOQ Priorat in Tarragona is unique with blackhills and “licorella” soil which produces Cariñena and Garnacha tinta grapes of amazing depth and quality. This intense and deep red wine has been produced for eight centuries!
Red Wine Poached Pears and Confit de Canard and creamy Cheeses like Manchego Queso from Spain and Camembert de Normandie, as well as classic Crema de Catalan go hand in glove with this outstanding wine. Ripe Figs, Apricots and Raisins abound and Plum Marmalade with hints of thyme entice on the 1st and 3rd nose. Complex layers of flavours of licorice and aromatic cinnamon bark appear boldly on the third palate. A pleasing, opulent mouthfeel excites…while the dessert wine’s refreshing acidity of 6.95g/l (PH 3,10)…cuts through the sweetness like a hot knife through butter. At just 13% alcohol by volume one can drink more without getting intoxicated! Wahahahah! 🙂
Bodega Torres in 2016 was voted the most admired European wine brand by the sector’s professionals which includes sommeliers, wine journalists and wine judges and experts, in a poll organised by Drinks International.
Miguel Torres the dynamic CEO says simply, ‘Wine in moderation is healthy’. I’ll drink to that! Salud! (Spanish Toast)