Review: 2006 Torres Gran Coronas Reserve Penedes

Bottom Line:  A food wine.  Which is to say that it needs food.  Otherwise austere and lean. $21

The Rest Of The Story: At the end of the week we head to Europe.  Part of that expedition will take us to the Penedes wine region in northeatern Spain.  The good folks at Torres are going to show us around a couple of wineries.  We're looking forward to learning more about this area and the better wines it produces. 

Torres is like the Mondavi of Spain - huge and with many labels from many regions (and countries) covering the price and quality gamut.  We're already familiar with their ViƱa Sol, an inexpensive, but refreshing and appealing white blend good enough to make our House Wines list at the holidays last year.  And we ventured to the higher end with the Miguel Torres Manso de Velasco Cabernet Sauvignon while on vacation with mixed results.  So as not to show up completely stupid, we grabbed this bottle - something right in the middle - as homework of sorts.

This Cabernet dominated blend is bright garnet (after you drain off the sediment) and gives way to fast legs.  Green vegetable and blackened earth notes on the nose seems somewhere between Chile and South Africa.  Medium bodied with a good core of acids and a dab of smoke.  There's something mysterious lurking beneath the dark surface of this wine.  Not sure what it is or what it'll take to reveal it.  Classically European in style and need for accompaniment.  Defninitely not an obvious hit-you-ver-the-head kind of wine.

There are two faces to this wine: the nose, which, while not off-putting, smells unripe.  And the palate - the taste, body, soul, and finish - suggests the opposite, that this wine has much more to reveal if given patience, breathing room, and considered thought.  All in all it has the hallmarks of a quality product executed well, but lacks any form of excitment.

Let's see what the on site discovery yields...