Bull’s Blood 2013 – in praise of a good table wine

Sangre de Toro 2013 Torres

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Tasty, Warm, Fruity, Oakey, a consistently good, well made wine.

New smart Front and Back label designs and the plastic bull glued to the side of stelcap, perhaps to draw your attention away from the screwtop.

Excellent party wine: we served this to our English and American guests at New Year’s Eve. A slight bit of sediment.

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Torres, Gran Sangre de Toro, Reserva, 2010

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We served this to the Collets at our pre Movie dinner and very well received it was too.

This is the 2010 vintage and I remember being disappointed by the 2009 so this richly mellow offering surpassed the movie experience – true to its name – ‘Cold in July’.


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Torres, Vina Sol, 2013

Vina Sol, Torres 1706

This distinctive ever reliable table wine from Torres was purchased in Dunnes.

Apples and Pears best describe this with a touch of Fennel or Menthol.

A blend of Parellada and Garnacha Blanca grapes from the Penedès, perfect for the hot spell we’re enjoying. Not bad for a Garage blend.

Parellada and Garnacha Blanca grapes, grown in the Penedès region of Catalunya. – See more at: http://www.obrienswine.ie/wine/country-region/spain/torres-vina-sol.html#sthash.Nrc0lIHL.dpuf
Parellada and Garnacha Blanca grapes, grown in the Penedès region of Catalunya. – See more at: http://www.obrienswine.ie/wine/country-region/spain/torres-vina-sol.html#sthash.Nrc0lIHL.dpuf
Elegant, fresh, fruity aromas with fine spicy hints. Smooth, rich and crisp on the palate, with plenty of fruity flavours (apples and pineapples) and a touch of spice (fennel). – See more at: http://www.obrienswine.ie/wine/country-region/spain/torres-vina-sol.html#sthash.Nrc0lIHL.dpuf

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Ibéricos. Crianza, Rioja, Torres, 2011

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Oakey Tempranillo from Miguel Torres who produce consistently acceptable quality wines.

Not as big a Rioja bang as I’d expected.  Apparently, this is their first Rioja – with Torres notes here.

So perhaps a little more to do to bring it up to Torres benchmark.

Good article from the Independent Wine Review on the 2010 vintage here

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Celeste, Crianza, 2009, Torres, Ribera del Douro

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I fried this on top of the radiator to get it up to operating temperature for the Wilks who were coming for a Bridge Dinner.So the first taste was warm with an explosion of fruit which soon gave way to a smoother refined dry taste. As the label says, it was as unique as the night sky in Ribera del Duoro. I’m a fan of Torres wines on both sides of the Atlantic but sometimes the hyperbole of the language used stretches the vine a bit.


€16.99 in O’Briens from €20.99

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We spit so you don’t have to …

… writes Ernie Whalley in last week’s Sunday Times 2013 Wine Companion, an insert in the July 14th edition.


110 wines tasted and reviewed.

Can’t say I disagree with the methodology or even with most of the tasting comments, though I have heard a few of them before.

In fact, I think Whalley’s Terroir notes are quite good.

What strikes me is the types and status of wines tasted and promoted by a mass middle market ‘Quality’ Sunday Newspaper.

Not to mention the vast value for money producing regions and territories completely ignored by a Wine ‘companion’.

Puglia. Loire Valley. Sardinia. Anyone?

A quick tot reveals that it would cost almost €2500 to stock your cellar with just one of each of the 110 bottles.

Yielding an average cost of €22.33 per bottle tasted.


A hefty wedge for a bottle of wine.

For which you would, not unreasonably, expect the wine to rate in the top Decile.

At these prices, swallow, don’t spit.

As one of my sisters in law says, there’s no need to spend more than a tenner a bottle in the off-trade these days, even with our tyrannical excise duty and VAT on wine.

Certainly for everyday drinking, given the many promotions and competition between the multiples.

For special occasions – and perhaps this is what the Sunday Times is aiming for, like its Michelin 3 Star  AA Gill restaurant reviews – OK perhaps, but it smacks to me of: we have a great idea; let’s set up a wine club; review the wines the shippers will give us the best deals on; get a local hack on board; flog the hell out of it – the more expensive the better – the more we’ll make.


Me, perhaps.

The Sunday Times, yes.

Maybe we should all spit.