Spanish Wine Review: Almirez 2010

by mary on February 18, 2013

This is a big juicy, bold Spanish red wine from the local variety of Tempranillo in the Toro region. Toro offers wines similar to the uber-trendy Ribera del Duero region but at much more affordable prices. The climate is even more extreme continental so in Toro wines you get even more intense, exuberant fruit, good acidity…big wines, but with good freshness and balance. The Almirez is one of the entry-level wines of an impressive Toro range from the famous Eguren family and offers great value at 15€ in Spain and about 20$ in the US.

>The Eguren family is more famous for its Rioja wines with such icons as La Nieta, El Bosque and San Vicente, but it's range of Toro wines have been getting lots of attention lately. There a four wines. the baby is Romanico and is a lovely simple wine showcasing that exuberant Toro fruit with just 6 months in French oak for a touch of complexity. It's amazing value at 9€ or 15$ in the US. Next on is the Almirez…read on below for more detail. Then there is a big step up to the spectacular Victorino…one of my favorite Toro wines. It's a bit pricy at 35€ or about 50$ but it is a big, bold, intense beauty! Despite how big it is…it is not tiring to drink, but slides down so easily. I served it a ton at my tastings and never found anyone who didn't love it. Last up is the Alasbaster, which is priced at a mind-numbing 130€ in Spain. I just tasted the 2010 in November. Bold, big, intense, big tannins too…but I'll take Victorino any day for the price vs complexity difference.

The Almirez for me is the best value of the bunch in terms of its quality and price relationship. It has great Toto fruit…intense, spicy black fruit, a bit sweet, but with fresh acidity. Full-bodied, big, but not tiring….smooth long finish. It's 100% Tinta de Toro, the local name for Tempranillo, and has a very some very pleasant and moderate oak notes from its 12 months in French oak barrels.

Toro wines are great with the local cuisine of the area, which includes a lot of stews and game meats, and would work with any meats or more robust preparations. But this wine has such delicious, exuberant fruit that it is also a great wine to sip on its own after a hard day's work!



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