Toro bodegas



Toro wines are mainly red, made from Tinta de Toro (the local synonym for Tempranillo, although there are recognisable differences between a Tinta de Toro grape and a Tempranillo grape from, say, Rioja. The reds have fruit, tannin and alcohol, which is normally felt in the mouth in that order.

Generally speaking, if you don't like big wines, Toro won't be your bag. Almost every label will display 14.5% alcohol (and its likely some are rounding this down). First impressions are of heady red and black fruits on the nose (often allied with quite noticeable toasty oak). The immediate feeling on the palate is one of softness that coats the mouth, creating a doghnutty hole through which the tannins come and make you realise there's quite a bit of grip. In fact, this can be one of the most fruity-yet-tanninic-yet-alcoholic wines around.

Unsurprisingly, when you consider the climate, Toro can fall down in its lack of freshness (there is rarely much acidity in these wines to soothe out the tannin and the power). But there are producers that coax a great deal of attractiveness and elegance from their vineyards, although this can depend on the vintage. If Vega Sicilia think it's worth having a venture here with Pintia (and don't forget, one of Spain's priciest wines, Termanthia, is also from Toro), then there must be something to it.

Personally, I find Toro supremely attractive when it's well-crafted. It's downfall is (a) the lack of freshness in many of the wines and (b) the fact that such big wines are difficult to tackle in a professional tasting situation. Toro cannot betray its climate and 'tone down' the wines - that would be wrong - so keep these wines for food. Tapas is perfect.

© 2010 Oliver Styles - - all rights reserved