The 2008 Torres Salmos Priorat is an exceptional wine and unequivocally the finest Salmos Torres has produced since establishing itself in Priorat in 1996. A stylish, yet powerful blend of Garnacha, Cariñena, and Syrah, this racy Priorat offers a bedazzling and complex aroma of Asian spices, balsam, black cherry fruit, and lavender. In the mouth, this alluring Priorat caresses the palate with layers of deep down spicy fruit and toasted oak flavors, before finishing with real panache. The 2008 is a full-bodied, highly flavorful wine that retains balance, elegance and refinement – all the attributes of the greatest red wines of Priorat. Enjoy the 2008 Salmos now after plenty of aeration or allow it several more years in bottle to grow in strength and stature. Enjoy!
Game and red meat are Priorat’s favorite accompaniments to the region’s full-bodied red wine, and the 2008 Salmos Priorat will not disappoint on that score as it offers superb accompaniment to beef, lamb, and venison. One of Spain’s best kept culinary secrets seems to be the flavor and quality of venison one finds throughout northern Spain. Refined yet flavorful, properly prepared venison steaks and stews offer splendid companionship to Priorat. Lamb Shanks, served with white beans or lentils, pair beautifully with the 2008 Salmos, too. For those who prefer vegetarian accompaniments, we suggest pairing the Salmos with Cuban style black beans and rice or a black bean and lentil cake, served with a savory sauce. Chèvre and full-flavored cheeses made from cow’s milk provide tasting pairing as well.
The Torres family has been making fine wine in Catalonia since 1870. Most of the family vineyards are centered in a hallowed area of Catalonia known as Penèdes from which the majority of Torres wines flow, including the now legendary Cabernet Sauvignon that stunned the wine drinking world in 1979 by outperforming France’s First Growth Bordeaux. However, the Torres family has not stopped moving and shaking. They have ventured near and far, establishing vineyards in Catalonia’s Priorat, Montsant, and Costers del Segre as well as in California, Chile and China. Although a true family affair, much of the credit for this house’s great success belongs to Miguel Torres, the family’s reigning patriarch. Now in his early 70s Miguel Torres has been a pioneer since he began making wine six decades ago. As an ardent environmentalist, writer, and winemaker, Miguel Torres has earned the often bestowed title of “father of modern winemaking.” As a pioneer in winemaking and for his success in transforming Spanish viticulture and wine making practices, Torres was awarded the International Wine Challenge (IWC) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. And recently, the prestigious magazine Drinks Business awarded Torres its Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 Green Awards. This month’s feature, the 2008 Salmos Priorat, is the Torres family’s latest great success.
Although many wine drinkers have become acquainted with the fine wines of Spain and the names Rioja and Ribera del Duero are now familiar entities in wine stores and restaurants, Catalonia’s Priorat remains relatively unknown except to serious, well-heeled wine lovers. As a sparsely populated comarca (county) to the southwest of Barcelona, Priorat (pree-ohr-aht) remains off the beaten track. However, Priorat’s bucolic slumber appears to be becoming a thing of the past as Priorat is currently being hailed as “the new Tuscany” and “the source of some of the world’s greatest wines.” By adventurous travelers and savvy wine critics alike, Priorat is touted as the next great travel destination and its wines a must purchase. Old vine Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot all work their magic in the region’s dry continental climate and unique llicorella soil.
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