2006 Bodegas de Quinta de la Quietud - "Toro"
Quinta de la Quietud Toro 2005 was one of the highest rated wines in the Peñín Guide, Spain's equivalent of the Wine Spectator. The Wine Advocate has rated Quietud wines four times, each time in the 90s. The fact that Jean Francois Hebrard's powerful yet racy wines have captured the attention of the world's critics is no surprise; for years he worked with some of the greatest estates in Chateauneuf du Pape, La Janasse, Solitude, Fortia... Making big wines that are light on their feet is something he's been doing for 20 years.
What makes Quietud stand apart from their peers in Toro? It's the irrigation. While all the Common Market money was flowing into Toro and Ribera del Duero, fueling new, irrigated plantings by the river, Jean-Francois Hebrard brought his expertise to the high elevation, dry-farmed wines of Quietud. Those irrigated vines have roots that stay close to the surface where the water is easily consumed. They produce simple, concentrated wines; any complexity comes from a trick of the winemaker. Hebrard's ancient, bush-trained Tempranillo vines have roots that go down tens of meters, searching for that elusive water, bringing back all that incredible minerality from the iron-rich sand of Toro.
The 2005 is a black-fruited powerhouse, loaded with aromas of baking spices, blackberries and dark chocolate. The wine is packed, with layers of fruit, framed by ripe, firm tannins. The finish goes forever; this wine drinks well over three days, getting better and better each day. Roasted leg of lamb has never met a better match.
If you want simple, dark and 'international' wine, go ahead and buy the irrigated stuff. If you want the wild, raciness of dry-farmed bush plant Tempranillo, grab the 2005 Quietud; a wine that stood Toro (and us!) on its ear.