Torres Vina Esmeralda 2005
A voluptuous, exotically perfumed nose, with deliciously well-defined primary aromas (some floral notes, roses, lilies...), complemented by secondary aromas derived from the wine's controlled fermentation. Silky and sappy on the palate.
Excellent with shellfish (a sublime match for an avocado and shellfish salad, for instance), as well as with fish, fresh melon with cured Spanish ham, pâtés, poultry or pork in a sweet and sour sauce.
The Torres family has been related to wine since the 17th century when their ancestors first planted vines in the Penedès, a winegrowing region dating to the days of the Phoenicians. Founded in 1870, Bodegas Torres has preserved family ownership of the company while diligently combining tradition and innovation.
For five generations, Torres has been a leader in the Spanish wine industry with properties in the top regions including Catalunya, Penedès, Priorat, Conca de Barberà, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Rueda, Campo de Borja, Rias Biaxas, Costers del Segre, Jumilla and Toro. The family’s dedication to wine quality and producing wines that reflect their origins has been recognized by leading media outlets throughout the world. From traditional wines such as Sangre de Toro celebrating its 60th vintage to the legendary single vineyard wine Mas La Plana, Torres’ broad diversity of vineyards allows selection of the best sites for each grape variety.
Known for bold reds, crisp whites and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place primary emphasis on its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally hot and dry. In the center of the country lies a vast, arid plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought.
Ribera del Duero is gaining ground with its single varietal Tempranillo wines, recognized for their concentration of fruit and opulence. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, specializes in bold, full-bodied red blends of Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate.
Alluringly aromatic and delightful, Muscat never takes itself too seriously. Muscat is actually an umbrella name for a diverse set of grapes, some of which are genetically related and some of which, are not. The two most important versions are the noble, Muscat blanc à Petits Grains, making wines of considerable quality and Muscat of Alexandria, thought to be a progeny of the former. Both are grown throughout the world and can be made in a wide range of styles from dry to sweet, still to sparkling and even fortified. It is well known in Italy's Piedmont region for Moscato d’Asti, a slightly sparkling, semi-sweet, refreshing wine that is low in alcohol. On the Iberian peninsula, it goes by Moscatel, not to be confused with Bordeaux's Muscadelle, which is acutally unrelated.
In the Glass
Muscat wines possess marked aromatics and flavors of peach, pear, Meyer lemon, orange, orange blossom, rose petal, jasmine, honeysuckle or lychee, often with a hint of sweet spice.
Thanks to its naturally low alcohol levels, Muscat is a perfect match for spicy Asian cuisine, especially when the wine has a little bit of residual sugar. Off-dry Muscat can work well with lighter desserts like key lime pie and lemon meringue, while fully sweet Muscat-based dessert wines are enjoyable after dinner with an assortment of cheeses.
Muscat is one of the oldest known grape varieties, dating as far back as the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Pliny the Elder wrote in the 13th century of a sweet, perfumed grape variety so attractive to bees that he referred to it as uva apiana, or “grape of the bees.” Most likely, he was describing one of the Muscat varieties.