Penedès Cabernet Sauvignon

Founded in the 1870’s by the patriarch Jaime Torres Vendrell, five generations at
Bodegas Torres have been a significant driving force in putting Spain’s Penedès
DO 
region on the international winemaking map. Numerous obstacles along the
way, including the partial destruction of the winery during the Spanish Civil War
in 1936-39, have inspired an evolution away from bulk wine production to now
thriving as a renowned bottler of vintage offerings in 50 different styles. They’re
a compelling demonstration that large commercial producers can maintain high standards in their regionally distinctive winemaking. In having become one of
Spain’s most recognizable brands, they produce an annual flood of accomplished
wines, which dependably flow out from an impressive cache of 2O, OOO barrels;
stored in stacks along 2 kilometers of underground galleries!

Geographically book-ended between the inland Serra de Miralles mountains and
the balmy Mediterranean coastline south of Barcelona, Penedès is sub-divided
into three regions of progressively higher altitude: Bajo, Medio and Alto Penedès.
Based in the heartland town of Vilafranca del Penedès since its inception as a
company, the Torres family has progressively expanded its holdings to 1,700
hectares of prime vineyards. In a region that’s arguably best known for sparkling
Cava, the Bodega has some also-famous neighbours like Freixenet and Codorniu.

Grapevines have been cultivated along the Mediterranean shores of the Iberian
Peninsula since the Phoenician period, though for this DéClassé recommended
blended red, Torres Gran Coronas Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, it was Miguel
A. 
Torres who had the vision of introducing Cabernet Sauvignon to Penedès
during the 1960’s and 70’s. Along with promoting the French Emperor of Reds
hybrid as being well suited for cultivation in Catalonia, his other innovation was
the use of the indigenous Tempranillo grape as a blending partner. Owing to its
nature as fast-ripening fruit, the round and black-skinned grape is affectionately
known in Catalan as Ull de Llebre (Eye of the Hare).

A perennial listing in the LCBO’s Vintages Essentials catalogue, this remarkable
value is further sale-priced through to the weekend. The enduring appeal and
charm of this fairly fulsome offering is that it’s not overly deep or complex. It is
well-rounded, well-crafted and fairly priced for a Reserva bottling that’s been four
years in the making and maturing. Heading into a new year is an opportune time
to revisit the median baseline quality of Catalonian table wine. 2 bottles (or more)
of this pleasing 2011 vintage should be an encouraging starting point!

Gran Coronas

TORRES GRAN CORONAS CABERNET SAUVIGNON RESERVA (V)
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #36483 | 750 mL bottle
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D
Limited Time Offer
Was: $ 19.95
Now: $ 17.95
Until January 3, 2016

Made in: Penedès, Spain
By: Miguel Torres S.A.
Release Date: April 15, 2015

Tasting Note
This medium to full-bodied red has aromas of dark currant and plum with light
smoky notes of oak and clove spice. With flavours of ripe black cherry and vanilla,
it’s perfect for charcuterie, aged cheeses, filet mignon with sautéed mushrooms,
grilled lamb, roast veal or pork sirloin and fresh fig.

Cab Sauvignon Alert

Founded in the 1870’s, Bodegas Torres has over the course of 140 years or
so, been the major driving force in putting Spain’s now famous Penedès region
on the international wine-making map. Numerous impediments along the way,
including the partial destruction of the winery during the civil war (1936-39),
have inspired and motivated the evolution of this vintner’s practices away from
simply being a bulk wine supplier, to graduating and thriving in the status as a
renowned bottler of vintage offerings in 50 different styles – though many of
these are only produced in appropriately successful harvest years.

The Torres Family has been based in the town of Vilafranca del Penedès since
its inception as a company and has progressively expanded its holdings to over
1,700 hectares of vineyards at 3 levels of successively higher elevation: coastal
central and high. The harvested fruit is vinified, then allowed to slowly mature in
more than 2O, OOO barrels, stored in stacks along an impressive 2 kilometers
of underground galleries.

Wine has been cultivated on the Mediterranean shores of the Iberian Peninsula
since the Phoenician period, though for this week’s Reserva grade red, we have
Miguel A. Torres to thank for the vision of introducing Cabernet Sauvignon to
Penedès during the 1960’s and 70’s; prior to which only local, obscure white
wine varieties were the norm. Along with promotion of the French ‘Emperor of
red varieties’, additional innovation came in the choice of also using indigenous
Tempranillo grapes as a blending partner, best known in Catalonian vineyards
southwest of Barcelona as Ull de Llebre (hare’s eye).

A perennial listing in the LCBO’s Vintages Essentials catalogue, this remarkable
value is available year-round, though for the next several weeks – it’s sale-priced.
It’s an opportune time to reevaluate the quality of Spanish wine and this bottle
would be the ideal starting point!

Gran Coronas

TORRES GRAN CORONAS CABERNET SAUVIGNON RESERVA (V)
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #36483 | 750 mL bottle
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D
Limited Time Offer
Was: $ 19.95
Now: $ 17.95
Until Mar. 29, 2015

Made in: Penedès, Spain
By: Miguel Torres S.A.
Release Date: Mar. 7, 2015

Tasting Note
With a deep red hue, this dense and silky-rich red imparts aroma and flavours
of cherry, plum, red current and characteristic coffee, vanilla bean and leather
notes – that tend to develop with a slightly extended period of barrel ageing. It’s
perfect with charcuterie, cheeses, pasta with lemon cream sauce, vegetarian
paella, as well as, filet mignon or grilled lamb.