Hello friends. There is this sweet spot that exists when it comes to wine. Yes, we all know and love vintage bottles of bubbles from Champagne and get excited whenever the occasion calls for that beautiful-yet-expensive juice. However, if all you have is expensive wine, you might have a tendency to save it and never drink it. (And there is no shame greater in the world of Full Pull than not drinking enough sparkling wine.)
So, we search for this sweet spot right in between price and palate. We hunt for sparkling wine that is tasty enough to drink on its own, yet cheap enough to not feel bad about opening or mixing into a wicked good sparkling cocktail. We pursue price-point driven reds with oomph and character that can liven up a weeknight meal. It’s not always an easy spot to reach—and more often than not, taste gets put on the back burner to price. So, when we finally find a good bottle at an unbeatable price, we hold on to it as long as possible. We buy it by the case and stockpile it for parties, anniversaries, and random Tuesdays.
NV Torre Oria Cava Brut 1.5L MAGNUM
Torre Oria Cava Brut has had a permanent place in the Full Pull warehouse for some time now—long time list members might remember that this sparkling wine is one of our former FP team member Matt Tessler’s enduring legacies. We have list members who literally buy whatever we have in stock every time they come into our warehouse—and with good reason. This is a ridiculous value for sparkling wine—only made more awesome by being a magnum.
Made from 100% Macabeo grapes, this wine clocks in at a light and lovely 12% alcohol. The winery, Torre Oria, was founded in 1897 in Utiel-Requena DOC, (located here), right near Valencia. It occupies this wonderful transition zone between the Mediterranean climate of the coast and the continental climate of Central Spain. Using sustainable methods and dry farming for all of their vineyards, Torre Oria is known for exceptionally high value and exceptionally low prices.
We’ve offered this wine in an e-mail previously, in 750 ml bottles, but never before at this size.
Excerpts from the previous offer: Cava can be an incredible source of value, if you’re willing to tiptoe through the minefield of forgettable plonk. We are so willing, and the result is that, every once in awhile, we gain access to a bottle like this, one that offers real pleasure at an accessible tag.
This has subtleties leesy and floral to go with a core of creamy apricot fruit and dark bready notes. In the mouth, it presents an aggressive mousse of scrubbin’ bubbles, ready to cleanse the palate for the next bite of food. Terrific intensity for the tariff, and a fine choice for festive sparkling-wine cocktails like kir royales and French 75s.
Listen, there is no greater joy than pulling out a giant bottle of sparkling wine for your friends and family, and knowing that you spent less than $20 on it. Stock up now for summer parties, beach days, weddings, birthdays, thanksgiving, and the holidays—if you can go that long without drinking it.
2011 Torre Oria Reserva
Torre Oria is also responsible for some of our favorite price-point driven reds over the last few years. Usually splits of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon, this winery’s lineup came our way only through Matt Tessler’s love of Torre Oria’s bubbles. We had to honor that love, right?
DO Utiel-Requena is a lovely place for grape-growing, but a lot of it is still planted to the traditional Bobal grape, which tends to produce less-than-thrilling wines. However, the little bits of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon that speckle this countryside are showing the true potential of the region.
Utiel-Requena may just turn into Spain’s Super Tuscan region (Super Valencia?). It obviously gets the heat units to ripen Bordelaise varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, and the affinity between Tempranillo and Cab is clear in a wine like this. In some distant future, they may rip out some Bobal, replant with Cab and Merlot, blend with Tempranillo, slather with new wood, and charge $80/bottle. In the meantime, we’ll continue enjoying these wines in the $10-$15 range.
This 2011 is a 70/30 blend of Tempranillo and Cab. It clocks in at 13% listed alc and begins with a deep, appealing nose of black cherry, star anise, smoke, and mint. The palate is clean as can be (always worth pointing out with a $10 wine), with a core of rich, honest Tempranillo fruit, all leafy and earthy and delicious. The complexity, the balance, the overall sense of pleasure this brings: all dazzle for the tariff. This is rapidly becoming a house wine for Full Pull.
First come first served up to 6 Cava Mags and 36 reds, and the wines should arrive at the warehouse in a week or two, at which point they will be available for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.