Wine of the Week from O’Briens: Torres Celeste Crianza 2012
Stargazing is one of those pleasures that is both intuitively simple and deeply poetic. It takes you back to a time when robe-wearing philosophers reflected on the big questions while looking at the brightness on the night sky, and on a clear, warm September evening, the realisation that looking up you’ll get a glimpse of that same masterpiece they admired, is a source of awe and inspiration.
“On the nights of harvesting, these are the stars that guard and contemplate the birth of Celeste”, reads -in Spanish- a sentence that shines in silver over a beautiful label with a sky map design that shows the constellations illuminating the Ribera del Duero as the grapes are ready to become wine. I have to say, it’s one of my favourite labels ever and I could watch it for a long time before actually opening the wine.
Torres Celeste Crianza 2012 is a 100% Tempranillo made by bodegas Torres, a winery with a history that traces back to 1870 and which was chosen as the World’s Most Admired Wine Brand by Drinks International both in 2014 and 2015.
Despite having a 14% ABV, it feels balanced and fresh. Dark ruby coloured with a deep heart and a clear ring that speaks of its youth, this wine benefits from an altitude of 900 metres, in Fompedraza (Valladolid), the part of Ribera del Duero in which the vines grow.
On the nose, it’s dominated by ripe red berries, baked cherries and fresh plums, and complemented by a delicate touch of spice that grows stronger on the palate.
Flavours of white pepper and nutmeg, as well as violets and a soft hint of roasted coffee beans are highlighted by a medium and elegant body.
The wine’s mild acidity and present yet smooth tannins make it very easy to drink, and its mix between the fruit, the spice and the toasted lingers pleasantly on the palate.
Although I’d be tempted to “pair” it with a medium-strength cheeseboard, ideally taken out of a basket for a special stargazers’ midnight picnic, it is strong enough to go with meat, both beef and game. Try it with Port-Marinated Skirt Steak With Roasted Grape Tomatoes or keep it simple with a tasty Steak Sandwich.
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.