An engaging Tempranillo from Toro, "different from its peers". New Zealand Wine Week Returns Jan 30th.

An engaging Tempranillo from Toro, "different from its peers" 


New Zealand Wine Week Returns Jan 30th. Details below.


Liberalia “Dos” Toro (DO) 2021, 14% ABV, €15.40 Heart of Spain

Heart of Spain is an online and actual shop in Fota Retail Park in East Cork and specialises in wine (and charcuterie and cheese) from the heart of Spain, mostly from the areas known to wine drinkers as Toro and Rueda. 

This bottle of young red wine (known as joven, though you don’t normally see it on the label) is a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha (20%, according to the producers’ own website).

Here, in the valley of the famous Duero river, over the last two decades or so, Toro has become famous for the quality of its Tempranillo based wines, the grape known locally as Tinto de Toro. Neighbouring Rueda of course is best known for its white wines made from Verdejo (and the shop have some of these on sale as well). 

It looks well and inviting in the glass with its cherry red colour and some violet hues. Aromas have black and red fruits coming through strongly in a wrap of vanilla (it has spent three months in barrel). And, in the mouth, it is loaded with fresh fruit flavours, some sweetness from the light tannins. The finish, with balsamic notes and a little influence from the oak, is lengthy. 

There is a certain Intensity and complexity to this but don’t let that put you off. This is a young juicy and easy-drinking wine, all on a typical Tempranillo base with a nicely judged oak contribution. Don’t think about it too much, just enjoy! Highly Recommended.

With its “large fruit load and pleasant mid palate” it is quite a wine for the price and the producers recommend pairing it with semi-cured cheese, cured cheese, blue cheese, goat cheese, pork, veal meat, chicken, turkey, game, lamb.

Liberalia is a family winery located in the area of the historic and prestigious Toro Denomination of Origin, province of Zamora (Spain). The vineyards are located where traditionally there has been vine cultivation.

When I first saw the English language list of varieties in the area, I also saw Bull’s Ink. It took a while before the penny dropped and I managed to translate that back to Tinta de Toro, which currently enjoys the seal certification as an autochthonous variety, with its own name, with well-defined agronomic and ampelographic characteristics. That means that the Tempranillo in Toro, while related to that in Rioja, is officially regarded here as indigenous.

Its ampelographic characteristics are very similar to Tempranillo, but which, nestled in the area for several centuries, identifies it with its own name and personality, different from its peers.” .


New Zealand Wine Week returns in 2023


After the success of New Zealand Wine Week events in 2021 and 2022, New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW) will be kicking off the third New Zealand Wine Week on 30 January 2023.


Themed ‘Altogether Unique’, activities for the event are planned across the USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, and Sweden. New Zealand Wine Week will be a hybrid event this year with both physical and virtual sessions, with a wide-ranging programme spanning tastings, masterclasses and online discussions.


“Being able to run hybrid events, with a combination of virtual and physical in-market platforms, is an impactful way to share the New Zealand wine story in our key export markets, broaden our reach, and shine a light on our premium and diverse wines to our trade and media audiences,” says Charlotte Read, General Manager Marketing, New Zealand Winegrowers.


“The theme of the week, ‘Altogether Unique’, comes hot off the heels of the launch of New Zealand Winegrowers’ new global brand platform New Zealand Wine, Altogether Unique.  This is underpinned by a significant piece of work to define the essence of the New Zealand Wine brand and its three key pillars of purity, innovation, and care - things that make New Zealand wine, so unique and special.”


Throughout the week there will be bite-sized webinars covering research at the forefront of New Zealand wine and New Zealand’s commitment to climate change. In these sessions, local producers and international trade will have conversations about sustainability, site, and Sauvignon Blanc. A longer tasting webinar will see Stephen Wong MW present what puts the ‘new’ in New Zealand.


The New Zealand Wine Week 2023 programme will include:

Virtual Events

  • ‘NEW New Zealand – Through the Lens of Smaller and Rarer Plantings’ – Stephen Wong MW will present what puts the ‘new’ in New Zealand.
  • ‘Beyond Sustainable – Next Steps for a Carbon Neutral Environment’ – Michelle Bouffard of Tasting Climate Change and Belinda Jackson of Lawson's Dry Hills will discuss the strategies wine producers are putting in place to support and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
  • ‘Terroir and technology – A Guarantee of Origin’ – Christina Pickard is joined in conversation by Alastair Maling MW from Oritain and Steve Smith MW of Pyramid Valley, to explore how technology can guarantee the origin of a wine down to vineyard parcels that may only be a hundred metres apart.
  • ‘Expanding the Scope of Sauvignon Blanc Vine Diversity in New Zealand’ – Dr Jamie Goode, Dr Darrell Lizamore of New Zealand's Bragato Research Institute and Emma Marris of Marisco discuss New Zealand Winegrowers' research into how plants adapt to external stress to produce a collection of diverse Sauvignon Blanc vines.


Physical Events

  • London Annual Trade Tasting – 50 exhibitors showing more than 200 New Zealand wines.
  • Dublin Annual Trade Tasting – 20 exhibitors showing more than 90 New Zealand wines.
  • Swedish Embassy New Zealand Wine Reception
  • Independent Wine Education Guild Masterclass – ‘Sub-Regional Expressions of New Zealand Pinot Noir’ with John Szabo MS


View full programme details and how you can participate in New Zealand Wine Week here.


Thanks to Jean Smullen for above info.