(2017) Made from 100% Tempranillo - known locally here in Toro as Tinta de Toro, this is another jammily-fruited, copiously-endowed red with massed of crushed berries and a light sheen of vanilla. Coming from 60- to 100-year-old vines, there's a natural concentration, and a bit of real grip as well as all that supple black fruit. Another delicious wine in this neat and excellent range, and a bit of a bargain if on a shelf near you at anywhere around a tenner.
(2017) From 60-year-old vines in the sandy soils of a Toro hillside, there is a floral/violet elegant edge to this, a brightness to the otherwise quite deep blackberry fruit. Chocolate and spice notes from barrel are evident. Nicely sweet and plump on the palate, the fruit is juicy, supple, with a soft tannin background and more of that spice and creamy oak adding breadth, gentle acidity making this very easy to drink despite the heft of 15% alcohol.
(2017) Toro in northern Spain lies next to the more famous Ribera del Duero, the two regions often compared as both also make red wines from the same variety - Tempranillo - known locally as Tinta de Toro. This powerful example comes from a 100-year-old ungrafted vineyard, and was matured for 18 months in all-new barriques. It has a dense, saturated colour, and soulful nose crammed with tobacco, spice and vanilla, but also a deep pool of crushed black berry fruit. Small glimpses of game and cedar add some complexity. In the mouth it is fruitcake-rich with plenty more spice and fat, ripe, juicy blackcurrant fruit. Tannins are pretty grippy, which along with the concentration of the fruit and the alcohol (15%) makes it robust, chewy and serious. Its time in barrel and bottle has softened the edges, but I suspect it will evolve nicely over several years.
(2011) 14% abv, Cork. Blue/black firm fruit on the nose, a taut blueberry and damson fruit, all very clean and sweetly creamy, with a Beaujolais-like clarity and sense of plum-skin grip and dryness. Palate is equally assertive and bold, the fruit, firm but graceful and the tannins and tight acidity leaving this savoury, bold and fresh.
(2011) A recent Wine of the Week here on wine-pages, this wine from Toro in northwest Spain comes from 40-year-old vines planted at altitude and has picked up a string of international medals including a Decanter Awards gold. The nose brims with deep-set, juicy black fruit, framed by some classy oak and a nicely earthy and gamey spiciness too. On the palate it is deeply fruited, a tight, blue-black seam of fruit and the tannins giving some plum-skin bite to make it savoury and structured. A lot of wine for the money and five years in the cellar will do it no harm.
(2009) This has lovely blackberry aromas that are concentrated and sweetly focused, with a certain muscular, tightly-wound character. The very sweet, plush fruit floods the palate, layered with smoky, charry, vanillin oak. This is a big wine, with great concentration and at this stage a fairly burly, almost rustic grip from the tannins. Xavier is certain this ages to be more elegant, and their experiments from 1997 suggest this is so.
(2007) >From the stable of A Fernandez (Pesquera), this 100% Tempranillo wine comes from Zamora, and at six years old offers a beautifully perfumed, gamy nose, with alluring animal and meaty scents, and copious black fruit at its core. Intense blueberry and kirsch-like cherry fruit dominate the palate, in a wine with lots of charm. A red liquorice firmness comes through. The oak is savoury and cedary, the tannins quite mellow and chocolaty, and the acid balance is still very good in this delicious and harmonious wine with good structure.
(2007) Gentle, subdued waxy nectarine and floral aromas. Some nice fruit starts to emerge. On the palate this is perhaps very slightly flabby for me, though it has fine varietal character coming through. Quite dense and fruity in to the finish.
(2004) 75% Tinta de Toro (a synonym for the Tempranillo grape) and 25% Garnacha (Grenache). Darkish, medium-density garnet colour. Lovely inviting nose, with lots of ripe redcurrants, cherry and plum, and a hint of spice. On the palate there's a tremendously sweet impression at first; blackcurrant jam and ripe Morello cherry, but also a bittersweet hint of liquorice and good acidity. There's a juicy, savoury quality here and a freshness about the finish thanks to the pert acids and well-balanced tannins. Really, a very nice drink that washed down some Chorizo and chilli pasta very nicely.
(2004) Joven means "juvenile" or young, and this precocious, bright, but deep cherry coloured wine as all about fruit and supple elegance. With only 5% of the wine seeing some barrel ageing, it is very fragrant and fruity on the nose, with loads of cherry jam and crisp, focused raspberry. There's also a little rose-hip, floral note here. On the palate there's a lovely melange of bittersweet cherry fruit, earthy, brackeny qualities and aniseed-tinged, firm tannins. Quite warm on the finish, with hints of tobacco and toast, but that savoury, clean fruit powers through. A simple, but really delicious and well-balanced wine that is amongst my favourites in this range.