Familia Torres Salmos 2017
Brilliant ruby red in color with garnet highlights. Astounding rose and black cherry aroma with aromatic herbs such as thyme coming through. Lively and light-bodied on the palate, full of personality, well structured with pleasant tannins and a streak of acidity that promises a long future.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In 2020, Familia Torres Winery is celebrating their 150th anniversary, but the family’s roots extend even farther than that. The first mention of the Torres wine family was in 1557, but the winery wasn’t established until 1870, when the profits from the family shipping company made it possible to enter the commercial wine space.
Miguel Torres Vendrell founded the company, and since then, the family has passed on the winery (and the name Miguel) steadfastly from generation to generation. They hit a setback when the winery was bombed during the Spanish civil war, but Miguel Torres i Carbó rebuilt, and began the bottling and exporting of the wine.
In 1991, Miguel A. Torres took the reigns, and remains president today. He made remarkable strides in environmental advocacy, social responsibility, fair trade, and research and innovation. Since 2012, Miguel Torres Maczassek has been at the helm, and has continued his father’s work, while also embarking on his own projects. Recognized year after year and Drinks Internationals’ “World’s Most Admired Wine Brand,” the story of Familia Torres is a known and respected one throughout Spain and the world.
Tiny and entirely composed of craggy, jagged and deeply terraced vineyards, Priorat is a Catalan wine-producing region that was virtually abandoned until the early 1990s. Its renaissance came with the arrival of one man, René Barbier, who recognized the region’s forgotten potential. He banded with five friends to create five “Clos” in the village of Gratallops. Their aim was to revive some of Priorat’s ancient Carignan vines, as well as plant new—mainly French—varieties. These winemakers were technically skilled, well-trained and locally inspired; not surprisingly their results were a far cry from the few rustic and overly fermented wines already produced.
This movement escalated Priorat’s popularity for a few reasons. Its new wines were modern and made with well-recognized varieties, namely old Carignan and Grenache blended with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. When the demand arrived, scarcity commanded higher prices and as the region discovered its new acclaim, investors came running from near and far. Within ten years, the area under vine practically doubled.
Priorat’s steep slopes of licorella (brown and black slate) and quartzite soils, protection from the cold winds of the Siera de Monstant and a lack of water, leading to incredibly low vine yields, all work together to make the region’s wines unique. While similar blends could and are produced elsewhere, the mineral essence and unprecedented concentration of a Priorat wine is unmistakable.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.