The Tempranillo grape is known for two things, first Spain and second dark and earthy wine that goes well with a meal, the Sabor Real Toro 2008 fits both of those traits to a “T”. This is a very food friendly wine that was rated 90 points by the Wine Advocate and while I would not go that high it is a very good wine that is well worth buying and trying.
While it is nothing special to look at in the glass with its inky black cherry color after that this wine shows some real character. The fruitful nature is evident in a full nose of blackberry, black cherry and stone mirrored in a flavor profile of dark fruit, a little currant comes through with cedar and an overall earthiness that is characteristic of Spanish Tempranillo. The finish is a combination of frisky spice from oak aging, unabashed tannin and a clean line of acidity which combine in a way that may not be pleasant for those who prefer a soft and plush wine, but is a very agreeable drink for those who like an edginess in their drink or are looking to pair wine with food.
When choosing the pairing I would suggest designing your meal around meat, preferably with some fat to utilize the tannic nature of the wine. Lamb, beef or barbecued beef or pork would all be good options, we had a ‘meat lovers’ pizza and I thought it worked quite well too. For something less than a full meal you might consider a platter of olives, cured meats and cheeses. Just think rustic and hearty, don’t be delicate and the Sabor Real Toro will offer a pleasing complement.
While this wine has been around for a number of years you are not likely to find the Sabor Real Toro in your grocery aisle. Go to your favorite wine retailer and ask, I believe the 2008 vintage is sold out, but don’t be afraid to try a different year Spanish wines are remarkably consistent over time. I located a bottle on a clearance shelf at ABC Fine Wine and Spirits where the price was under $10, what a deal. Bottom line this is another great value from Spain which continues to provide high bang for the buck wine. For an overview check out the video that highlights the 2005 vintage from Sabor Real Toro.