Miguel Torres Maczassek is a focused man, sniffing and sipping his wine like a scientist at work. Now CEO of the Torres Group, Miguel gives the impression that he would’ve excelled in pretty much any profession. (Indeed, he did well for himself in the perfume business before becoming marketing director for Torres). But Miguel is truly in his element as he discusses his family’s top wine, Mas La Plana.
|Mas La Plana and delicious small plates from Jaleo... what a pairing!|
A single estate 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Penedès appellation of eastern Spain, the Torres family has been producing this wine since 1970. In 1966, at a time when Spanish Cabernet was practically unheard of, Miguel’s father planted Cabernet vines in the gravel and limestone soils of Mas La Plana. At a Paris Wine Olympiad blind tasting in 1979 this inaugural vintage of Mas La Plana bested some of Bordeaux’s biggest names. Torres had its foot in the door of world-class Cabernet.
The Torres family has been making wine in Penedès for almost 150 years. If you’ve ever been in a liquor store, you recognize their Sangre de Toro wines, complete with a little plastic bull adorned to the neck. While large-scale Catalunya blends may have been Torres’ bread and butter for decades, Mas La Plana is a whole different deal.
As evidenced by this tasting, Mas La Plana has evolved quite a bit over the decades, following a common storyline of creeping alcohol content and increased time in new French oak. Miguel admits Mas La Plana has taken on a more polished and approachable style over the years, achieved by longer skin contact and more new oak. While I was smitten with the elegance and bright acidity of the older vintages, I found a lot to love in the more recent vintages, all of which maintain pure fruit and the earthy essence of their region.
My notes are below the fold…