© Copyright 1999 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.
Torres 1993 Gran Sangre de Toro Reserva ($12.49)
Back when I was first getting serious about wine, the Torres "Blood of the Bull" red from Penedès in northeastern Spain was one of my first discoveries as I began to venture out of the familiar ground of France, Italy and the U.S. I haven't tried it for years, though, having moved on beyond Torres's mostly mass-market products to discover the glorious variety of Spanish wines. Spotting this one on the shelf the other day, though, at roughly three times its late-'70s price, prompted me to stroll down memory lane and give it a try. Very dark ruby in color, its aromas are pleasant: Jammy black raspberries and a whiff of anise. It's soft and juicy in flavor, almost sweet at the first taste but it firms up on the palate with lemony acidity; ripe, sweet berries persist in a long finish. Not bad at all, certainly fairly priced if not a particular bargain at the price. U.S. importer: Paterno Imports, Lake Bluff, Ill. (April 12, 1999)
FOOD MATCH: A Venezuelan-style dish of shredded beef long-simmered with sweet bell peppers made a fine match that enhanced both the wine and the food.
Cartoixa Scala Dei 1987 Priorat Gran Reserva ($6.99)
FOOD MATCH: Anticipating the style of the wine, I crafted a simple chicken Marengo, full of herbs and mushrooms and tart tomato sauce), and it went well.
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