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Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Time: 6 PM


Price: Members: $69
            Guests:     $85

          (includes appetizers)


Venue: Faculty Club, Univ. of Toronto,

         41 Willcocks Street
         Toronto, Ontario
         M5S 1C7  - 


Mailed Reservations
          - Fri. April 8, 2011
Online Payments
         - 5pm, Sun. April. 10, 2011


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Spanish Reds – Modern Developments

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Guest Speaker: Charles Jewett


Notes on the Wines

How the Wines Were Ranked



Spain has long been a world class producer of fine wines, with the largest area of land dedicated to viticulture of any country in the world. Despite over 2.9 million acres of land dedicated to grapes, Spain is only the third largest producer of wine in the world. The classification system used for Spanish wines is similar to those used in France and Italy. All classified wine regions are regulated by the Denominación de Origen (DO) system. The 72 DO zones produce red, rosé and white still wines, in addition to the sparkling Cava. The five most widely planted grapes are Airén, Temranillo, Bobal, Garnacha Tinta and Monastrell.


Major Spanish wine regions include Rioja, Ribera Del Duero and Priorat. Toro is a newer denoted region. Rioja has been the epitome of fine red Spanish wine for generations. The region is divided into three principal regions and traditionally, Riojas have been a blend of the fruit from all three regions, although slowly the trend is moving towards single zone wines. A distinct characteristic of wines from this area is the effect of the long aging in American oak. Styles vary, from easy drinking Crianzas and some Reservas, to the Reservas and Gran Reservas of the top estates which may cellar and improve for decades. TVC has purchased a 2003 wine from Bodegas Baigorri, one of Rioja´s newest and most innovative wineries.


Ribera del Duero, a region of vineyards situated around the Duero river, which, as it flows west through Portugal, becomes the Douro, home to the vineyards that give rise to Port. There are some splendid wines to be had in this region, based on a mixture of international (Cabernet Sauvignon) and indigenous (Tempranillo) grapes ( You'll sample exceptional products from three outstanding bodegas (wineries) in this region: Balbas while founded in 1777 now combines modern techniques with historical experience; Valdinral founded in 2000, and Bodega Resalte also founded in 2000 - the highest ranked winery by the Wine Spectator from this region.


Priorat is on the Mediterranean coast. Long gone unrecognized, Priorat has recently been making waves, with big, age-worthy and exciting wines. Its best wines are concentrated and full of character thanks to the very low yields produced by the region's harsh conditions. Those low yields, in addition to the intense manual labor required to make wines here, mean that Priorat wines are some of the most expensive in Spain. They are also, in the eyes of many, among the best wines produced in the country. Expressive, fresh and less oaky than many traditional Spanish reds, Priorat wines have earned a devoted following in Spain and beyond. We feature 2 Priorat bodegas: Vall Llach, a relatively new and exciting winery founded in 2000 and Gran Clos, voted the #1 winery in Priorat in a blind tasting of peers, top critics, sommeliers and international judges.


Toro is an historic, rural region, 40km from the Portuguese border, known for its bold red wines. The DO takes its name from the city of Toro, a center of winemaking that sits high above the banks of the Río Duero. The DO was created in 1987 with just four wineries, but with the area's proven success, the number of bodegas now exceed 40 wineries. TVC features 2 Toro wineries: Bodegas Tardencuba started in 2001 by two brothers, Ramón y Jose Ramos, and Bodegas San Roman, a new venture in 1997 started by parent Bodegas Maurodós.


While Spain has a long history of producing wines, Toronto Vintners will explore some up-and-coming, exciting new wineries from a range of vintages from 2000 to 2006. Note: appetizers will be served with the wines.

Vienen disfrutar estos vinos deliciosos!


Appetizers will be served with the wines.


The Wines

2001 Cellers Fuentes, Gran Clos De J.M. Fuentes DOC, Priorat $69

The 2001 Gran Clos, a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Carignan, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, is a big offering. An inky/purple color accompanies sweet aromas of blueberries, blackberries, crushed stones, and flowers. It possesses a velvety texture, a juicy mid-palate, and a long, concentrated, full-bodied, tannic finish. Give it 2-3 years of cellaring, and enjoy it over the following 12-15." 93pts. Robert Parker Jr.,, April 2004


2005 Vall Llach Idus De Vall Llach DOC, Priorat $75

"The 2005 Idus is composed of 42% Carinena, 20% Merlot, 15% Garnacha, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah and spent 16 months in seasoned French oak. Dark garnet- colored, it offers up a complex perfume of wood smoke, tobacco, mineral, wild blueberry, black cherry, and black currant. This leads to a full-bodied, opulent, full-flavored wine with lots of extraction, sweet, ripe fruit, well-concealed tannins, and at least 6-8 years of aging potential. This lengthy, gratifying effort should drink well through 2030." 94 pts. Jay Miller,, Feb. 2008


2003 Baigorri Vino De Garage DOC, Rioja $69

"The 2003 Vino de Garage was sourced from 70+year- old Tempranillo vines, fermented with native yeasts, put through malolactic in barrel, and then aged for 18 months in new French oak. Opaque purple, it offers up alluring aromas of smoky new oak, pencil lead, spice box, violets, licorice, and wild blueberry and blackberry. Beautifully balanced, it has both opulence and elegance, complexity and enough silky tannin to evolve for another 4-6 years. For those with difficulty deferring gratification, it can be enjoyed now but it will still be going strong through 2025." 93pts. Jay Miller,, Feb. 2008


2006 Balbás Gran Reserva - Ribera del Duero $89

Top Balbás wine of Bodegas Balbás. "Still vibrant, this red shows balance and structure, with plum, cassis, floral, chocolate and light earthy flavors over firm, well-integrated tannins. Complex and expressive, with a long, spicy finish. Drink now through 2016." 94 pts. Thomas Matthews,, Dec. 2007


2004 Valdrinal Reserva - Ribera Del Duero $40 100% Temperanillo.

"The 2004 Reserva was aged for 15 months in one-third new French oak. It has an excellent perfume of cedar, spice box, incense, violets, and black cherry. Structured on the palate, it has plenty of spicy fruit, good grip, and a pure finish. Give it another 3-4 years of bottle age and drink it from 2013 to 2024." 91pts. Jay Miller,, Jun. 2009


2000 Resalte de Peñafiel's Gran Resalte, Ribera del Duero $99

Gran Resalte is the company's top wine and has garnered numerous international prizes in its short lifespan. "This traditional red is aromatic with tobacco, lead pencil, licorice and floral notes, which give way to a silky palate and flavors of black cherry, mineral and smoke. Not overly muscular, but firm, balanced and lively, with a long, alluring finish. Drink now through 2015." 94pts. Thomas Matthews,, April 30, 2009


2004 Bodegas Tardencuba, Valnuevo Seleccion (Toro) $35

"Bodegas Tardencuba owns 15 hectares of Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo) in the southwest of Zamora. The top wines are made from ungrafted centennial vines from a sandy region in which phylloxera never took hold. This wine was fermented with native yeasts and bottled without fining or filtration. The 2004 Valnuevo spent 16 months in new French oak. Its aromatics include wood smoke, toast, saddle leather, scorched earth, and blackberry. Opulent, spicy, rich, and structured, it will become more complex with 6-8 years of additional cellaring and drink well through 2030." 93+ pts. Jay Miller,, Feb. 2008


2004 Bodegas San Román, San Román, Tinto (Toro) $55

Bodegas Maurodós expanded its wine production to the Toro region in 1977 to craft the San Román wines. "The 2004 San Roman, 100% Tinta de Toro, was aged for 22 months in French and American oak, mostly new, prior to bottling without filtration. It is purple-colored with a lovely perfume of toasty oak, mineral, spice box, violet, lavender, and blackberry. Sweet, layered, and structured, this muscular effort will evolve for 5-7 years in the cellar and drink well through 2025." 92pts. Jay Miller,, Feb. 2008

Top of page



How The Wines Were Ranked

Please check back after the tasting for the results.


Name of Wine (in order poured) Group Ranking Guest Ranking
A -
2005 Vall Llach Idus De Vall Llach DOC, Priorat
7 5
B -
2001 Cellers Fuentes, Gran Clos De J.M. Fuentes DOC
5 4
C -
2004 Bodegas Tardencuba, Valnuevo Seleccion (Toro)
8 7
D -
2004 Bodegas San Román, San Román, Tinto (Toro)
1 1
E -
2003 Baigorri Vino De Garage DOC, Rioja
3 6
F -
2006 Balbás Gran Reserva - Ribera del Duero
6 8
G -
2004 Valdrinal Reserva - Ribera Del Duero
4 2
H -
2000 Resalte de Peñafiel's Gran Resalte, Ribera del Duero
2 3