Friday, December 30, 2011

Updated review: ***+ $ Torremoron Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 2006 - BEST VALUE

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By way of background: The Torremoron Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain, is made from grapes harvested from 500 acres of old tempranillo vines.  Hot days and cold nights characterize the growing climate, which consists of limestone and sandy soils.  For 2006, the wine was finished unoaked at 13% alcohol.  It is being sampled four years from vintage date.  

Original Review:  January, 2010:

In the glass: Torremoron Tempranillo shows as deep mahogany red in the glass, almost opaque in the middle.

On the nose: Poured cool without a decant and swirled vigorously, this Ribera del Duero sports a solid, plum-scented, perfumed nose.

On the palate: The first element on the palate is a light, sweet, delicate rose and raspberry flavor. That moves lightly and evenly across your palate, bringing almost a violet fragrance to the roof of your mouth.

And the finish: Sleek tannins cause Torremoron to settle smoothly and lightly across your cheeks.

In summary: Overall, a compelling, fragrant, light-bodied and still complex and sleek experience.  Consider using whenever pinot noir seems close, but not quite right.  I would definitely seek this out again.  Rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its awesome aromatics and gentle strengths.   Could move to four stars with a bit of air.  Fantastic value. 

Stephen Tanzer awarded 88 points, writing, "Ruby-red. Fresh raspberry and candied cherry on the nose, with good peppery and floral lift. Tangy red berry flavors are finely etched and pure, with gentle tannins adding support. The deep finish leaves behind an exotic floral pastille quality. Wonderfully complex for the price."

Robert Parker of Wine Advocate went a step higher, to 90 points, writing, “…100% Tempranillo from 60- to 90-year-old vines…terrific perfume of wild berries including raspberry, strawberry, and cherry…youthful, very concentrated and structured. The finish is long and fruity…an outstanding value.”

Following a two-day decant under vacuum in a partially-opened bottle: Both nose and palate held solid under this brief aging.  Not enough improvement to move to four stars, but remains very strong value.

Updated review, almost two years later,  December, 2011: Color remains deep, opaque magenta.  The plum perfume has added a touch of funk on the nose.  On the palate, a mid-weight, red-fruited soft berry wash replaces the lighter perfumed touch from two years ago.  This is a nicely balanced middle red experience, with red berries contrasting with still-apparent tannins and modest acids in a fulsome and friendly mid-palate.  Clean finish. 

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