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wine notes.


AS your eyes transverse the universe in the starry night, we see the formations that make up the signs of the zodiac , and we are all born under one of them. Do they influence our character and mood? Many have theories, but we all wonder.

The Spanish wine company Torres has its own calendar of following the stars and the signs of the zodiac for 2012. Each sign or star selected will represent one of its wines, from its many vineyards in Spain, California or Chile.

The first star is Celeste, which sits between Ursa Major and Minor, the Great and Little Bear.

This fine wine is from the Ribera del Duero in the rugged north east of Spain. This area produces the celebrated Viga Sicilia wine, one of the most collectable of the world's iconic wines.

In the Custom House, Penarth, Cardiff, Benigo Martinez houses his collection, selling them at most modest prices.

We sampled and quaffed the Celeste at a lunch we cooked for a very great friend Celeste Mitchell, a food editor. Her late husband actor Walter Gottel was in nine of the James Bond movies, most notably From Russia With Love.

We cooked roast goose with chestnut stuffing red cabbage and Rudolph potatoes roasted in the goose fat.

What a magnificent combination of flavours it was. The richness of the goose was perfect with the full, opulent style of the red wine. Celeste is produced at vineyards at over 400m above sea level where winters are harsh, summers hot with cool nights.

The tempranillo grape, known as the tinto fino in Vega Sicilia, is opulent and cherry coloured and flavoured with ripe fruits and a toasted autumnal finish. You can imagine the gaggles grazing on the harvest fields as these grapes are ripening. Wine making dates back to the Roman era, depicted in many mosaics in the area.

The wine is a mosaic of flavours, definitely influenced by the stars and it matures in the vats in the winery at 900m above the sea. It's a wine born here and certainly reaches for the stars. Our meal was a star and Celeste and we enjoyed every delicious mouthful.

BEST BUYS Torres Celeste 2009 Crianza, pounds 12.50 Torres Vina Sol white and red, pounds 6.99 Torres Coronas Tinto, pounds 7.99 Torres Esmerelda, pounds 7.99
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 28, 2012
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