I was having a conversation with a friend recently and we got around to discussing wine (as we usually do) and speculating about the best bottle of wine we had ever consumed.
From drinking “cheap plonk” of dubious origin in the 1970s through to the present day I have consumed a wide variety of wines and of varying qualities.
I have had unlikely delights and surprises in wines I have drunk from Portugal, Hungary and the old Jugoslavia and more recently from such countries as Uruguay, Canada and Argentina.
But if I was put on the spot to make a choice as to the best wine then there could be only one for me and that would be Grand Coronas Black Label by Miguel Torres (now renamed Mas la Plana).
I first drank this back in the mid 1980s (and it cost about £30.00 then) and the only way I can describe it is “like drinking liquid velvet.” I remember the intensity of the fruit, just the right amount of acidity and the smoothness on the back of the throat.
It is more than three decades since this mysterious Spanish wine was born. The label: Black. The bottle: Burgundy style. The variety: Cabernet Sauvignon. Few had much faith in this project. Certainly, nobody back in 1979, could have dreamed that it would triumph in a Parisian blind tasting against some of the world’s most famous wines. Yet it marked the start of a new era in wine making: a time in which to stop dreaming and embark on a new journey, year after year, harvest after harvest.
In this small (29 ha.) vineyard only the most select Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown. These are used to make strictly limited quantities of Torres’ most prestigious red wine, now known to connoisseurs all over the world. In the Paris Wine Olympiad, the 1970 vintage triumphed over some of the most famous wines in the world, including Chateau Latour. This success has been repeated on several other occasions, with Gran Coronas Mas La Plana notching up numerous other international awards.
If you have a special occasion coming up then seek out a bottle and treat yourself to one of life’s great experiences.