Monday, June 12, 2017

The Patriarch Remembers

Time really does fly.

Miguel A. Torres, the current president
Years ago, I had dinner with Don Miguel Torres at his elegant apartment in Barcelona.

Under the gaze of Picassos and Chagalls, the old gentleman mused about visiting South America as a very young man to market his family's wines -- travelling everywhere by mule and packhorse.

The sea journey alone had taken almost a month.

By contrast, he said at dinner: "Last week, I went to New York for a business meeting and I was back home again almost before I left -- flying by Concorde, from Paris"

"Just in my own lifetime," he observed thoughtfully, "the world has progressed from mules to putting a man on the moon!"

I think it was Alvin Toffler who wrote that the pace of change is getting faster...

I was reminded of all this recently by a terrific bottle of white wine: the delicious Las Mulas Sauvignon Blanc Organic.

It's made by Don Miguel's son Miguel A Torres, the fourth generation and a noted wine author, on the family's Vina Santa Digna Estate at Curico in Chile's Central Valley.

The wine, $13.95, has silky tropical fruit aromas, nicely understated, with perfectly pitched citrus crispness. Refreshing and versatile as an aperitif or with fish, white meats, summer salads, goat cheese and shellfish (92).

Don Miguel died in 1991 and  Miguel A. has run the worldwide family business since. Miguel A's own son, Miguel Torres Maczassek, the fifth generation, is General Manager. This powerhouse winery based in Vilafranca del Penedes, near Barcelona, has led the way in Spain, pioneering temperature controlled fermentation and aging in new French oak barrels, Bordeaux-style.

Don Miguel's daughter, Marimar, has been a hugely successful wine pioneer in California, founding her stellar Marimar Estate in Green Valley in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. Her Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are superb. The vineyard is named for her father. A newer vineyard is named for her mother, Margarita.

Torres has, over time, brought us household wine names from Spain, like Sangre de Toro, Vina Sol, Vina Esmeralda and De Casta as well the the great Torres brandies.

Yes, time really does fly: but there's always a moment for a good glass of wine!

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