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Matsu El Picaro: A stunning wine from Spain’s Toro

Posted on: April 5th, 2013 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Great wines are often described as having Character, Depth, Fullness, and Distinctiveness.  But in a world where so many offerings are simply “just there and quaffable”, distinctive selections that standout are always worth remembering.  For obvious reasons, many of these wines come from Spain.

Time after time, Spanish wines have made their mark as standouts, especially in their ability to pair with bold cuisines.  From spicy seafood to big steaks and just about everything in between, a Spanish wine can be found that fits on the table front-and-center and will be totally enjoyed by all.

When it comes to the “big steak” end of the spectrum, one of Spain’s “Denominacion” areas that really steps to the forefront is “Toro”.  And using the Spanish word most of us associate with “a bull” makes it easy to remember (however, Toro is also a town).  When you’ve got big beef, reach for something from Toro.

The power of Toro’s Tempranillo grape (aka Tinta de Toro) is well known to wine drinkers.  It can have a tongue-coating character that spreads over the palate and continues to run to a fullness that ignites a wide range of flavors.  When from Toro, that grape gets even bigger.

One of the smaller Toro wineries is Matsu.  It would probably be even lesser known if it weren’t for their crazy labels.  One of these real eye-catchers is on a 2009 vintage bottle of what they call “El Picaro” and it can still be found for under $20 at AJs (they will quickly order if necessary).  The label’s photo looks a little like “Benjamin Button”, except just a tad more rugged.  So it goes with the wine contained within, more rugged than most, and born under unusual circumstances!

What to pair with this sturdy fella?  Well, one whiff of this wine’s char-tinged earthiness will send you right to a big Filet Mignon.  To say this wine compliments the burnt crust of a well-seared steak is an understatement.  And its finish of mouth gripping tannins and slight bitterness just finishes it off.  Smoke on the steak, smoke on the wine, wow.  This combination is a standout if there ever was one.

Enjoy with your next trip to the grill.  Be sure to char them well.  Also, this wine starting to disappear from inventories, so if you like, stock up.

Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at Examiner.com

View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.

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About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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