Simon’s Wine of the Week - Familia Torres Purgatori 

Posted in: Features / Tags: Champagne & Wine, Wine, Tasting, Autumn, Wine of the Week, Simon Jarvis

Good morning all,

Simon’s Wine of the Week is Familia Torres Purgatori 

I was lucky enough to be drinking this wine last week from a magnum. I love big bottles, and I cannot lie!

This wine is made by Familia Torres, a winery that holds a special place in my heart. Imagine a callow youth who knew pretty much nothing about wine. A young lad doing his A-levels who somehow gets a part-time job in a wine merchant. A mere whipper-snapper whose first wine he tasted in the shop was the legendary Torres Black Label, a wine that famously beat some of the greatest and most expensive French wines in a notorious blind tasting. It was this wine that somehow lit the spark and started me on this great journey.

Based in Penedes in Catalonia for five generations the Torres family are at the vanguard of winemaking in Spain, dedicated to sustainability and resurrecting lost indigenous grape varieties.

Their Purgatori comes an estate in Costers del Segre. It was once used as a place of punishment for wayward monks from the nearby Abbey of Monserrat, due to its harsh climate. The banished monks soon discovered that these harsh conditions were also ideal for the production of quality wine and the vineyard was born. Legend has it that barrels of the wine would regularly disappear before arriving back at the abbey, and that it was taken by the angels who came down to taste the wine, and then took barrels back to heaven with them.

The wine is a blend of Carignan and Grenache that is aged for up to a year in French oak before bottling. It is distinctive as a wine even when you start pouring. Deep, opaque and garnet in colour, it promises so much even in the glass. The nose is ridiculously intense with lots of morello cherry, figs, dried plum, and black pepper. Whilst it is full-bodied and rich in the mouth, it is also perfectly balanced so that it is elegant and refined. There are plenty of dark fruit flavours to enjoy, with blueberry and blackcurrant joining the cherry, figs and dried plum but now the oak comes to the fore with complex cedar, smoke and vanilla notes. A fantastic wine.

If you’re matching this with food, then it’s an obvious choice for grilled meats or a good steak but would pair perfectly with meaty tomato-based pastas too. I really liked this wine. You will too.

Have a great week all,


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