From 20 to 50-year-old vineyards. Fresh with soft tannins, marked fruitiness and an agile structure.
Current vintage 2018
Encapsulates the character of Toro red wines made with grapes from vineyards that are more than 40 years old located in different villages. Exuberant, deep and mineral.
Current vintage 2017
From Paraje del Pozo, a five-hectare estate with 45-year-old Tinta de Toro vines grown on very poor sandy-clay soils. A marvel of fineness and complexity.
Current vintage 2015
San Román Malvasía
The winery’s first white wine. Made with 60-year-old bush vines in the El Pinar vineyard on sandy soil. Delicateness and tension in this original single vineyard wine.
Current vintage 2019
The 2018 Prima’ bottling from Bodegas San Roman is composed of a blend of eightyfive percent tempranillo and fifteen percent garnacha. The vines range from twenty to fifty years of age, are farmed organically and are in conversion to biodynamics. The wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts and was raised in combination of seventy-five percent French and twenty-five percent American oak, with all of the casks used. The wine comes in at 14.5 percent octane and offers up fine nose of black cherries, plums, cigar wrapper, a nice touch of soil and a gentle framing of nutty oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with good focus and grip, fine nascent complexity and a long, ripely tannic and nicely balanced finish. This carries its octane very well indeed, and though there is a hint of backend heat, the wine will age very gracefully and is quite impressive. 2028-2055.
The entry-level 2017 Prima has meaty notes, hints of iron and soil. San Román had less influence from the killer frosts of the year, and the wines are not as structured. The grape harvest for this wine started in August, the earliest ever. Surprisingly enough, the wine is more aromatic and floral than ever, perhaps the influence of Garnacha. It has a serious, chalky palate, dry and tasty. A surprise for the vintage. 208,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2019. This matured in 500-liter barrels and foudres, and the oak is very integrated.
2020 – 2024
Dark ruby. Mineral-accented blackberry, cherry compote and baking spices on the deeply perfumed nose. Sappy, palate-coating red and dark fruit liqueur flavors pick up smoke, vanilla and candied licorice qualities with air. Turns spicier on the persistent, subtly tannic and penetrating finish, where the red berry and floral notes repeat strongly.
Color: cereza oscuro. Aroma: tostado, especiado, cacao fino, chocolate. Boca: sabroso, tostado, fino amargor.
Picota violáceo de capa alta. Intensa vía nasal, recuerdos de ciruelas, moras, fresas, flores azules, tofe, hierbas aromáticas, nuez moscada, sándalo, caramelo rojo y repostería. Fresco, jugoso, estructurado, jovial y vibrante paso. Persistente final primario y especiado.
Fruta silvestre algo más madura que en añadas precedentes, flores, hierbas balsámicas, especias dulces, finos tostados, sotobosque y mineral, taninos firmes, excelente acidez, equilibrio, textura y potencial.
Wild fruit slightly riper tan previous vintages, flowers, balsamic herbs, sweet spices, toasted oak, undergrowth and mineral nuances, firm tannins, great acidity, texture, balance and ageing potential.
The entry-level red 2016 Prima was produced with grapes from a cooler growing season with an early but long harvest. It’s mostly Tinta de Toro with some 10% Garnacha and other red grapes. It fermented in stainless steel, including malolactic, and matured in French and American oak barrels and foudres for 12 months. They are increasing the percentage of foudres used, trying to respect the fruit. It has nice fruit and good freshness, and it’s lively and fresh. This is approachable and drinkable, with a nice, soft texture, kind of light for a wine from Toro, in a way reminiscent of a red from Douro. A soft, lighter and fresher style. 215,000 bottles produced.
2018 – 2023
Bold black-fruit aromas include a very ripe note of prune. Typical of wines from San Román in Toro, this is a tannic number but within reason. Savory oak pushes a bacony flavor onto blackberry fruit, while this is meaty and spicy on the finish, sort of like beef jerky. Drink this strong boy through 2026.
Saturated ruby. Vibrant cherry, red currant and exotic spice scents show very good clarity and take on a brisk mineral nuance with air. Seamless, lively and focused on the palate, offering juicy red fruit and floral pastille flavors and a hint of vanilla. Very fresh and lithe in style, finishing long and silky, with fine clarity and gentle tannic grip.
There was one more vintage to taste of the entry-level red, as the 2015 Prima was in tank and ready to be bottled. The 2015 is juicy and young but it soon opens up to reveal a fine wine. In this vintage they started using some 500-liter oak barrels for the aging, where the wines age slowly, which is something they like for a wine like this where they want to preserve the fruit. This meaty red will result in some 200,000 bottles.
2017 – 2021
Color: cereza intenso. Aroma: fruta madura, hierbas secas, roble cremoso, fruta roja. Boca: potente, fruta madura, especiado, taninos maduros.
The entry-level 2014 Prima is a blend of Tinta de Toro, 10% Garnacha and a little bit of white Malvasía. It matured in used barrique and oak vats to keep the fruit. 2014 is a cooler vintage, from a very balanced year and the wines show more freshness. This Prima keeps the primary fruit and feels young, but it has good depth and a very pleasant mouthfeel. Some 200,000 bottles were produced.
2017 – 2021
The 2013 Prima was bottled in May 2015, and is a blend of Tinta de Toro (aka Tempranillo) and 10% Garnacha with a little bit of white Malvasía. The wine matured, part in used barrique and part in oak vats, in order to keep the fruit. 2013 was a cooler vintage, which in Toro produced a slow ripening of the grapes. Bright ruby-colored, the nose is cooler, earthy and showing fresh herbal aromas with red fruit and more mineral notes as it opens up in the glass, where graphite, peat and some notes made me think of a classical wine from Bordeaux. The palate is medium-bodied, with very fine tannins and good acidity; it is very elegant, balanced, fresh and easy to drink. 175,000 bottles were produced.
2015 – 2019
Bodegas San Roman is owned by Mariano Garcia (longtime cellar master at Vega Sicilia) and his family, and this is the sister property of his Mauro estate in Ribera del Duero. They bought their first vineyards here in 1996 and opened their winery the following year. Their 2017 San Roman Tinto is composed entirely from organically-farmed old vine tempranillo, with the vines ranging from sixty to one hundred years of age. The wine is fermented with native yeasts and aged for two years in a combination of French and American oak casks, with only twenty-five percent of the wood new each year. The 2017 comes in listed at 14.5 percent octane and offers up a superb bouquet of cassis, black cherries, sweet new leather, cigar smoke, a nice touch of tempranillo spice tones and a deft framing of nutty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and complex, with an excellent core of fruit, impressive balance and grip, ripe, well-integrated tannins and a very long, classy finish. There is a wisp of backend heat here, but this is Toro after all (in an age of global warming), and the wine is really very well balanced and carries its alcohol very well indeed. It will age beautifully. 2030-2080.
Color: cereza intenso. Aroma: fruta madura, hierbas secas, roble cremoso, potente. Boca: potente, fruta madura, especiado, taninos maduros.
Picota granate bien cubierto. Intensa y compleja vía nasal, sutiles aromas de fresas, frambuesas, moras en confitura, tabaco en pipa, incienso, sándalo, caramelo rojo, tarta de arándanos, piedra de río, nuez moscada, clavo, tierra húmeda, bizcocho, ahumados, etc. Potente en su ataque, gran esqueleto y carga frutal, excelente viveza y equilibrio, recorrido aterciopelado, amplio. Larguísima vía retronasal llena de matices. Un toro armónico.
The 2016 San Román was cropped from a generous vintage, which meant great balance in the grapes, good freshness, very fine tannins and less concentration. Having said that, I think the wine has great aging potential; it’s not really a light wine (it’s Toro after all), and it has structure and good grip and a classical profile, still quite generously oaked and in need of some time in bottle. They used a small percentage of 500-liter barrels for the élevage of some plots. It should turn into a very classical García wine with a few years in bottle. 100,000 bottles produced. It matures in oak for two years. It was bottled in January 2019.
2021 – 2028
Dusty earth and dried herb notes frame black cherry and currant flavors in this harmonious red. Firm tannins and bright acidity give it focus and structure. Balanced, with depth. Drink now through 2026.
Brilliant violet. Expansive, oak-spiced black raspberry and blueberry aromas pick up cola, woodsmoke and vanilla accents with air. Supple, weighty and seamless on the palate, showing impressive focus and spicy lift to the deeply concentrated red and dark fruit preserve, cherry cola, mocha and spicecake flavors. Stains the palate without showing any excess fat. Finishes sweet, creamy and extremely long, with polished tannins, a repeating blue fruit note and a touch of dark chocolate.
Muy joven, en fase de desarrollo. Aromas de fruta bien madura, tonos de roble de calidad, fondos minerales y de monte bajo. Equilibrado, con cuerpo y nervio, consistente pero no rudo, sabroso, expresivo.
Color: cereza intenso. Aroma: fruta madura, hierbas secas, roble cremoso, chocolate, cacao fino, fruta negra. Boca: potente, fruta madura, especiado, taninos maduros.
Frutos negros maduros, cerúleos, mineral y reductivo (trufa, turba), marcado carácter varietal (regaliz, hierbas), cacao, especiado y algo acético, taninos sabrosos, excelente acidez cítrica, con textura y potencial, no tan perfecto como en añadas precedentes.
Ripe black fruit, waxy, fine mineral and reductive notes, truffle, peat, pronounced varietal carácter (herbs, liquorice), cocoa, spicy and slightly acetic, succulent tannins, excellent citric acidity, with texture and ageing potential, not as perfect as previous vintages.
The eponymous 2015 San Román was produced with fruit from a dry and warm year, from one of the earliest harvests to date (but records are broken almost every year, and 2017 was even earlier). It’s always sourced from old, head-pruned and ungrafted Tinta de Toro vines on stony, limestone and clay soils in different villages of the appellation,including Morales de Toro, Pedrosa del Rey and San Román de Hornija. It fermented in wide stainless steel vats with indigenous yeasts and matured for 24 months in oak barrels, 70% French and the rest American It’s ripe, wide, hedonistic and generously oaked. A powerful, generous vintage of San Román. It should age nicely in bottle. 95,800 bottles were filled in January 2018.
2018 – 2025
Cocoa, licorice and spice notes frame ripe plum and currant flavors in this rich, generous red. The firm tannins are well-integrated and balsamic acidity keeps this lively and balanced. Harmonious, in the modern style. Drink now through 2030.
Classy aromas of lemony oak, cigar box, bramble and berry fruits set up a massive palate with fierce tannins and years of aging potential. Dark, toasty flavors of pure cacao, charred oak and black fruits finish with power and structure. Decant if drinking anytime soon; best from 2022 onward.
Deep, shimmering violet. Expressive, spice-accented aromas of blackberry, cherry liqueur, vanilla and licorice, plus a smoky mineral nuance in the background. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering juicy black and blue fruit and violet pastille flavors and a suggestion of exotic spices. Rich yet lively in style, with a very long, gently tannic finish that features lingering smoke and mocha notes.
Color: cereza intenso, borde granate. Aroma: fruta madura, floral, varietal, especiado, piedra seca, ebanistería. Boca: redondo, elegante, sabroso, largo, tostado.
Fresca opulencia, con carácter. Profundo en la nariz, concentrado; marcados frutales, tonos minerales y de crianza en barrica. Bien armado en la boca, con cuerpo y energía, taninos firmes de calidad, equilibrado, sabroso, expresivo en aromas.
Atractivo picota de capa alta con ribete granate. Intenso, profundo, recuerdos de cassis, moras en confitura, chocolate, hojaldre, ahumados, nuez moscada, canela, tierra húmeda, trufa, tinta china, sándalo, hoja de tabaco… Complejo, con esqueleto bien armado, amplio y envolvente recorrido muy frutal. Persistente y larga vía retronasal con elegantes maderas.
I also had the opportunity to taste the 2014 San Román, which has benefitted from one extra year in bottle. The year was less warm and ripe than 2015, but the fruit is still quite ripe, but without excess. It has nicely integrated oak and a powerful mouthfeel keeping the poise and elegance. The flavors are focused, and the end is long. 95,000 bottles produced.
2018 – 2024
The 2013 San Román was produced with fruit from older vineyards in Toro. In 2012 they started reducing the amount of the new oak in this wine and the change is quite noticeable. There is something leafy and floral showing elegance within the power that the place provides naturally. 2013 was quite different in Toro from Ribera del Duero, here the cooler years are a plus, as they balance the extra ripeness the place provides. In 2013 there was no rain during the harvest and the grapes were very healthy. There are some fine tannins and the profile of a more austere and transparent vintage, a mineral year. But it does have the smokey and slightly wild character of Toro. 87,000 bottles produced.
2017 – 2022
The 2012 San Román is produced with the fruit of their older vines out of their 96 hectares of vineyards in Toro. They have reduced the amount of the new oak here. The aromas are very mineral of red clay, iron, a mixture of plums, black and red cherries and again something earthy, elegant and complex, developing meaty notes with time. The palate is medium to full-bodied, fresher than 2011, with very fine tannins and very good acidity. This is a superb version of San Román. This is one of the few wines from Toro that actually improves with time in bottle. 93,000 bottles were filled in March 2015.
2015 – 2022
The 2011 San Roman, is year in, year out, one of the most reliable wines of the appellation, pure Tempranillo (locally known as Tinta de Toro), the fruit from over 35-year-old, ungrafted and head-pruned vineyards planted on sandy, stony soils rich in clay in different villages across the Toro appellation. The wine aged for two years in French and American oak barrels, 80% of which were new. It’s an earthy wine with plenty of dark aromas of peat, fountain pen ink, graphite and tar, with very ripe fruit, black and blue berries. The palate is quite full-bodied, with abundant but fine tannins and enough acidity and persistence. A Toro with character. Drink 2015-2019.
2015 – 2019
The 2009 San Roman comes from 45-year-old bush vines or older in San Roman, Morales de Toro, Arjujillo, Villaester and El Pego between 720 and 760 meters and sees 24 months in new and used French (70%) and American (30%) oak. It offers a very seductive bouquet with luscious red berry fruit – raspberry, wild strawberry infused with crushed violets that open with aeration. The palate is full-bodied and very well-balanced, ripe succulent tannins, plush blueberry and black cherries forming the core followed by a silky, ripe, sensual, velvety smooth finish. Modern in style, but extremely well-crafted, this is a sensational, delicious Toro red. Drink now-2018+. Bodegas y Vinedos Maurodos is one of the leading lights of Toro. Founded in 1997 by former Vega Sicilia winemaker Mariano Garcia Fernandez, they own 60 hectares of vineyard in San Roman de Villaester and Hornija, mainly planted with Tinta de Toro and Garnacha, the average age of vines around 35 years interpolated with vines on un-grafted rootstock. The oak aging here is very prudent, with around 20% renewed each year, both French and American. The present winemaker is Mariano’s son Eduardo Garcia Montana, who trained in Bordeaux and Burgundy among other regions. These exceptional wines were suffused with personality, purity, a life-affirming sense of “controlled opulence” that, to be frank, put many a more expensive Toro wine in its shade. What is more, a bottle of 2001 San Roman testified to a Toro that truly does age with style and panache.
2013 – 2018
The 2007 San Roman is 100% Tinta de Toro aged for 25 months in seasoned French oak. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it gives up an already complex bouquet of toasty oak, pencil lead, damp earth, licorice, tapenade, and blackberry. Layered and multi-dimensional on the palate, it lacks the power of a great vintage such as 2009 but the result is a more immediately friendly wine that can be enjoyed from 2015 to 2022 if not longer. Bodegas Maurodos is owned by renowned vigneron Mariano Garcia and his sons Eduardo and Alberto.
2015 – 2022
The 2015 Cartago Paraje de Pozo bottling from Bodegas San Roman is produced from a forty-five year-old vineyard that is farmed biodynamically, planted on franc de pied rootstock, planted to ninety percent tempranillo and the other ten percent being a field blend of other varieties. The wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged fully three years in a combination of used and new casks; the 2015 vintage comes in at 14.5 percent octane. The bouquet here is deep and excellent, wafting from the glass in a complex blend of black cherries, sweet dark berries, cigar wrapper, a touch of meatiness, beautiful brown spice tones and a refined foundation of new oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and complex, with great midpalate depth, excellent, salty soil signature, ripe, chewy tannins and outstanding focus and grip on the long, complex and well-balanced finish. This is still a young wine and need at least another decade in the cellar to fully blossom, but it is going to be a stellar bottle in due course. 2031-2080.
The 2015 Cartago Paraje del Pozo comes from a more opulent vintage and feels quite different from the rest of wines from the García family I tasted next to it. 2015 is a warmer and more tannic vintage. This feels a little more classical, a serious wine designed to develop in bottle, where it should absorb the oak. It had a long élevage of 30 months. It was bottled in July 2018.
2022 – 2034
This red has structure and depth, but remains balanced and approachable, winth black cherry and plum flavors mingling with notes of coffee, dried herb and loamy earth. Not showy, but harmonious. Drink now through 2030.
Opaque ruby. Ripe dark berries, cherry cola, vanilla and pungent flowers on the deeply perfumed nose. Smooth, broad and sweet on the palate, offering impressively concentrated cherry liqueur and blackberry flavors and subtle hints of mocha, licorice and spicecake. A smoky nuance emerges with air and carries through the extremely long, gently tannic finish, which echoes the floral and vanilla notes.
Color: cereza muy intenso. Aroma: complejo, expresivo, especiado, mineral. Boca: elegante, lleno, largo, persistente.
Sólido, vigoroso, con futuro. Profundo en la nariz, rico en finos matices, con base de fruta madura. Buena estructura y equilibrio en la boca, sabroso, con nervio.
The gran reserva style, single-vineyard 2014 Cartago Paraje del Pozo comes from a 45-year-old plot on very poor soils that, like all old vineyards, has a majority of the dominant red Tinta de Toro but has around 10% of other varieties that add complexity. This wine has an extended aging of some three years in oak barrels, and it’s released one year after its bottling. 2014 is a very complete and balanced year, which has produced a concentrated and powerful Cartago, with plenty of tannins, quite tight and austere, in need to develop further complexity in bottle and to tame the tannins. It slowly opens up in the glass, showing spicier and more complex and nuanced with time and air. This could be a better wine than the 2013 in the long run. 3,900 bottles were filled in July 2017.
2020 – 2029
Initially, this big-time Tempranillo from Bodegas San Román smells lactic and chocolaty, with a hint of marshmallow to go with black cherry and blackberry fruit. On the palate, this is rugged and tough, something you can embrace but can’t avoid. Black cherry, cassis and dark plum flavors finish with cocoa notes, and the more air this sees the better it will perform. Drink through 2030.
Picota granate de capa alta. Intenso, armónico, marcados aromas de moras, arándanos, flores azules, chocolate con leche, nuez moscada, canela, grano de café, romero, tomillo, betún, carbón vegetal, cedro, incienso, finos cueros, tierra húmeda y un largo sinfín de matices. Potente, profundo, muy complejo, aterciopelado y elegante recorrido. Persistente y envolvente vía retronasal con finos recuerdos frutales, especiados, minerales y de boletus. Lleno de finura.
Intensidad alta, potente y rotunda en nariz, con presencia de frutas rojas en sazón, notas balsámicas y minerales y un fondo ligeramente tostado con recuerdos de juanolas y tinta china. En boca es amplio, estructurado, frutal, de tanino maduro, muy buena acidez y un final largo con recuerdos ahumados.
Contundente, bien ensamblado. Profundo; singulares aromas de frutos negros bien maduros, notas florales, balsámicas, especiadas y minerales. Vigoroso, con cuerpo y sólido, algo cálido, sabroso.
Despite the challenging conditions of the year, they also produced a 2013 Cartago Paraje del Pozo, which is a very fresh year for Toro. It has aromas of tar and licorice, a bit wild, with power and good freshness. It has abundant, fine grained tannins. This is a vin de garde, with structure and tannins, from a cool vineyard in a cool vintage, very apt to lie down in your cellar. It has already developed some complexity, notes of tea leaves, dark chocolate, meat and underbrush. Some 3,800 bottles produced.
2018 – 2030
Amplio, rotundo, noble fuerza. Nariz profunda, rica en matices; fruta bien madura, discretos tonos de crianza, minerales y balsámicos. Potente, equilibrado, con cuerpo y energía, centro sólido.
There is a new label from Maurodos, a ‘Gran Reserva’-styled red from a single vineyard that will be launched in April 2017, the 2012 Cartago Paraje del Pozo. It is Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo) from an ungrafted 45-year-old vineyard with contained ripeness planted on sandy soils, which tend to produce the most elegant wines of the region. It also contains 10% of other more aromatic grapes. It matured in brand new French oak barrels for three years. It certainly has something in common with the 2013 San Román; it shares a slightly wild and rustic profile, with lots of iron notes and an earthy touch. The extended élevage has polished the palate and the wine has a sleek texture. The nose keeps developing in the glass, with spicier notes, aromatic herbs and things that made me think alternatively of Barolo, Bordeaux, or even of a red from Douro sometimes. The wild side definitely showed hints of leather and beef blood, somehow meaty and earthy. A noteworthy debut. 1,900 bottles and 90 magnums were produced in this first vintage.
2017 – 2027
This is the only white wine that I can recall every tasting from Toro, and I was very happy to see that the 2019 version was a superb follow-up to the exceptional 2018 vintage of this cuvee. As I mentioned last year, this wine is made from sixty year-old Malvasia vines grown in the organically-farmed El Pinar vineyard; the wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged for ten months in French demi-muids prior to bottling. The 2019 comes in at 13.5 percent octane and delivers a superb bouquet of breadfruit, lemon peel, a touch of green olive, salty soil tones, wild fennel and a topnote of menthol. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied, deep and complex, with a superb core, lovely soil signature and grip, good acids and a very long, beautifully balanced and classy finish. 2021-2035.
Amarillo pajizo, intensa vía nasal, recuerdos de manzana, paraguaya, papaya, lichis, mantequilla fresca, jazmín, cedro, vainilla, finos ahumados, piedra de río y laurel. Fresco, untuoso en su ataque, estructurado, tanino amable, equilibrado recorrido. Persistente final primario, mineral y especiado.
The second vintage of the white from Toro is the 2018 Malvasía, produced with Doña Blanca grapes, which are known locally as Malvasía Castellana, a more austere grape that shows more the soil than the variety. This matures in 500-liter oak, and it goes unnoticeable. Bottled without malolactic, it felt a little reductive and austere at first. It’s a grape that shows vibrant acidity and minerality. This is delicious now but has the balance and stuffing to develop in bottle. 2,400 bottles were filled in July 2019.
2020 – 2024
Light, bright yellow. Highly perfumed, mineral-accented aromas of white peach, pear, tangerine and smoky lees, plus a bright floral overtone. Juicy and densely packed on the palate, conveying richness as well as vivacity to the mineral-laced orchard and pit fruit flavors, which pick up an orange zest nuance with air. Shows impressive power and sharp delineation on a long, penetrating finish that leaves hints of buttered toast and citrus pith behind.
Agradable, tostado. Aroma: flores blancas, fruta de hueso, especiado. Boca: sabroso, seco, especiado, fruta madura, fácil de beber.
Singular, atrevido. Aromas de frutas blancas maduras, sutiles florales (flor de acacia, azahar) y minerales (fósforo), notas lácteas. Cierta estructura, textura glicérica, seco, suave, sabroso, amplio, fino.
The first white from the García family in Toro, the 2017 Malvasía is sourced from one of the oldest vineyards planted with the variety (Malvasía Castellana, which is not the aromatic Malvasía most people would think about) in the appellation, from 60-year-old ungrafted vines in the El Pinar vineyard in the village of Morales de Toro. It fermented in 500-liter oak barrels, where it was kept for ten months. The vinification is very similar to the white from Mauro. The wine was still in barrel—the plan is to bottle it in August 2018—so it was a bit cloudy and reduced, with a slightly austere personality. The palate has roundness and a soft mouthfeel, with good balance, and it’s not heavy despite being a warm and very early vintage. It’s not clear what the variety is, but many people think it’s Doña Blanca. It has 13.5% alcohol and a pH of 3.2 (quite low), meaning moderate alcohol and good freshness, as the grapes from this warm vintage were picked the 24th of August, the earliest ever. 1,300 bottles produced.
2018 – 2022