Vinification is the process that transforms the grapes into wine. The process of vinification differ from region to region, financial state of the winery and the grape types. The harvesting time and the type of oak used for aging are based on the region in which the wine grapes are grown.

Wine making process involves the following stages:

  • The first step in wine making process is Harvesting or Picking. Grapes should be harvested at the right time in order to make good wine. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand.
  • The process of separating the grapes from the stems and cluster parts is called Destemming. Some of the wine makers keep some fragments of the stem to increase the wine tannin.
  • After destemming the grapes are crushed to extract the juice from the skin. This is done before the fermentation process begins. In the olden days bare feet is used to extract the grape juice, now a day machines like crushers are used.
  • Separation of grape juice and the skin is named as pressing. After crushing the grape juice will flow freely, selected wineries use pressers to make sure maximum juice is released.
  • Once the grapes are pressed they are introduced into the process of fermentation. During this process the grape juice are converted into alcoholic beverage. The yeast interacts with the sugar in the grape juice and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the wine is purified and refined, they are preserved with sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate. During the natural process of fermentation a minimum amount of sulfites are produced, but more is added for the use of commercial preservation.
  • Wines are aged for a particular amount of time to get more welcoming wine. Once after purification, the wines are moved to wooden barrels for aging. Metal vats, concrete vats and glass carboys are also used in some cases to increase the flavor.
  • After aging, the wines are bottled. During the process of bottling a final dose of sulfite is added to the wine to prevent it from uninvited fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then sealed with cork and screw caps.
Torres, Gran Coronas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 1970

What makes it a wine legend...

The post Wine Legend: Torres, Gran Coronas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 1970 appeared first on Decanter.


Torres, Gran Coronas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 1970

What makes it a wine legend...

The post Wine Legend: Torres, Gran Coronas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 1970 appeared first on Decanter.

Torres, Gran Coronas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 1970

Wine Legend: Torres, Gran Coronas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 1970, Penedès, Catalonia, Spain

Bottles produced 54,000

Composition 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Tempranillo, 10% Monastrell

Yield about 55hl/ha

Alcohol 12.4%

Release price 1,650 pesetas

Price today €85

A legend because…

In 1979, a blind-tasting in Paris, the Gault-Millau Wine Olympics, placed great French classic Cabernets such as Châteaux Latour and La Mission Haut-Brion alongside newcomers such as this wine from Torres. Known as Black Label, the 1970 was made from young vines, but the wine still triumphed, launching Torres onto the international stage.

Looking back

The firm of Torres was founded in 1870, and in 1962 a youthful Miguel A Torres took over the winery. Forward-looking and open-minded, in 1964 he planted international varieties in some of the Penedès vineyards. The Cabernet Sauvignon cuttings came from Jean Leon, another Penedès pioneer, and it’s rumoured that its source was the Médoc: Châteaux Lafite and La Lagune. Moreover, some cuttings came from a nursery in Montpellier. Planting French varieties was a controversial decision, and even Torres’ father had strong reservations about the wisdom of planting Cabernet. 1970 was the first vintage of the Black Label, which from the 1995 vintage on was renamed after the vineyard, Mas La Plana.

Now fourth-generation president of Familia Torres, Miguel A Torres recalls: ‘The wine was so different, it immediately gained a reputation, especially by triumphing over some of the best French wines. What a lot of people don’t know is that it was my mother’s idea to send Mas La Plana to the 1979 tasting.’

The vintage

An outstanding year in Penedès as well as Rioja, 1970 offered an ideal growing season, although the crop was small.

The terroir

29ha of Cabernet Sauvignon are planted in the Pacs sub-region of central Penedès. The original plantings were on deep, yellowish grey-brown alluvial soils that are well drained and have a moderate water holding capacity. The soil is made up of layers of gravel, sand and clay. The elevation of 225m ensures relatively cool night-time temperatures.

The wine

The grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks; indeed Torres was almost certainly the first Spanish wine producer to install them. The wine was then aged six months in new American oak, then in older barrels for a year more. It was not until the 1990 vintage that Torres decided to age the wine entirely in French barriques.

The reaction

Stephen Brook tasted the wine in 1993: ‘Fairly deep red but becoming pale and russet on the rim. Light liquorice nose, becoming attenuated but still attractive… still powerful but perhaps the fruit is in retreat.’

In 2008, Tom Cannavan noted: ‘Lovely old wine vegetal sweetness on the nose, notes of dried blood, truffle, prune and that echo of very sweet black fruit. On the palate lovely sweetness still, masses of clove and spice, and still a fine core of redcurrant and cherry acidity. Lovely soft, truffly finish.’

In 2015 in Beijing, Edward Ragg wrote: ‘Tertiary aromas of roasted meats, mushroom, leather, combining with barrel-matured notes of coffee, cocoa, chocolate, now caramelised with age… complex. On the palate a profound tannic structure, but still with this wonderful core of fruit coming through… Lively acidity, quite vibrant fruit – this wine is not “dried out” in any sense – with mellowing chewy tannins and a long, layered finish.’

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Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

Laurel Gray Vineyards

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