Wine: Abrazo del Toro Reserva Seleccion Especial
Grapes: Syrah (34 percent), cabernet sauvignon (33 percent), merlot (33 percent)
Region: Carinena, Central Spain
In the glass: Abrazo del Toro is a deep garnet-red color with a semi-opaque core going out into a slightly tinged rim definition with medium-high viscosity.
On the nose: Freshly crushed cassis fruit is all over the nose on this wine at first, then it expands into more layered and nuanced notes such as violet pastilles, crushed pomegranate seeds, phenolic compounds, vanilla-laced oak references and hints of sloe gin and red plum sauce.
On the palate: There are concentrated and extracted freshly crushed cherries, currants, brambleberries, mulberry sauce and huckleberry coulis, followed by a nicely rounded midpalate with excellent tannin structure and a good long finish with hints of pomegranate juice and spicy figs. It lingers for a while and gives the impression that it is a really well-made wine that has good aging potential.
Odds and ends: Spain has been making great wines for more than 15 years. One of the reasons we don’t find too many in the U.S. market is that much of wine produced in Spain is consumed there. Abrazo del Toro comes from the blockbuster 2004 vintage and has another four to five years on it before maturity. It should work well with pot roast and mashed potatoes or medium-aged cheeses.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.