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TORO

This once-ignored DO is exploding with vinous energy. Manuel Fariña brought it to prominence decades ago with excellent wines at fantastic prices, and more recently, seemingly everyone with an ego and a fat wallet has decided to try their hand as well. The massive character of Toro’s full, plush, and sometimes overpowering Tempranillo-based wine is the result of the warm conditions, ideal exposures, and very friable soils. The elevation, as with Spain’s other top spots, gives the wines structure, relative elegance, and ageability, though most of the blockbuster wines of the DO are still in their infancy. All that attention has sent prices spiraling upward, but a good deal of Toro wines remain very good values.
The elevations are slightly lower than Ribera del Duero to the east, the land is a bit flatter, and yields can be quite generous. But the happily vexing issue is how, even with higher yields, the wines can be so intense, and the same can be said for the older vines. Some of the century–old bush vines offer yields that would make a young vine blush, and they lose not a bit of quality in the process. It’s an amazing and intriguing region.

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