Bringing charisma to the wines of Spain: Jose Moro
While the Essex Street stop on the NYC subway is not noted for its gourmet restaurants and not featured on any tourist map of Manhattan, I was motivated to journey to this part of the city to find out how the wines from the Spanish vineyards of Bodegas Emilio Moro linked with the Balvanera Restaurant (152 Stanton Street), where Fernando Navas is both the owner and the Chef.
The restaurant features the cuisine of Argentina, and, as it turns out, provides the perfect pairings for the Spanish wines from the Emilo Moro estates.
The Birth of a Moro Dynasty
It all began in 1932 with the birth of Emilio Moro Sr. (in Pesquera de Duero) and the vineyard planting of Finca Resalso. For two generations, the grapes were sold on the bulk market. In 1988, Jose Moro Espinosa, currently directing the organization, invested the family’s entire savings into purchasing wine equipment and started Bodegas Emilio Moro. The bodega joined the DO Ribera del Duero in 1989 and established itself as one of the region’s leading producers of quality wines. A competitive advantage of this winery is that many of the vineyards have been in the family for generations and possess the purest clone of the indigenous Tempranillo varietal (known in Spain as Tinto Fino). The clone has been used to graft all the vine plants of the winery’s vineyards.
The winery is located at the top of a bend in the Duero River in the town of Pesquera del Duero, just to the Northwest of Peñafiel.
Ready for Wine (and Lunch)
The best way to start lunch is with an Aperitif as it stimulates the digestion and loosens the tongue – creating the perfect atmosphere for an enjoyable afternoon.
1. Hito (milestone) Tempranillo 2016. Cepa 21
The wine emerged from the idea of offering the consumer the freshest, most aromatic version of the Emilio Moro wines with no aging and with the same grapes used in the red wines. After a prolonged filtering at low temperature the grapes are macerated for 24 hours, fermented between 12-15 degrees, and left with the finest lees and the greatest carbonic as available for 6 months.
Light pink to the eye, Hito 2015 delivers high-notes of flowers linked with fresh red fruits (cherries, strawberries) to the nose. The palate is delighted with a taste of plums and raspberries making it lively and fresh with an undertone of sweetness that is balanced with light acidity.
2. Finca Resalso Tempranillo 2016. Ribera del Duero (Aged for 4 months in French oak barrels)
Tempranillo means “little early one” and comes from the Spanish growers who observed its habit of ripening earlier than Garnacha, its traditional Spanish blending partner.
To the eye – garnet red. To the nose, ripe fruit (blackberries), woods and forests. On the palate, a subtle and earthy mineral wood background with structure and balance. Delivers a long and pleasant finish.
• Pair with Tartar de cordero (Lamb steak tartare), slow poached egg yolk, harissa chimi (North African hot chili pepper paste), toast
3. Emilio Moro Tinto Fino 2015. Ribera del Duero
Cherry-berry red to the eye with fresh fruit (raspberries and blueberries), earthy notes and oak delivered to the nose. Powerful in the mouth with a balanced acidity.
• Pair with Pulpo (octopus), olivada, aji ahumado (smoked chili), alioli (garlic and oil)
4. Malleolus Tinto Fino 2014. Ribera del Duero
Produced from grapes 12-25 years old and fermented with yeasts selected from the estate in stainless steel vats. Aged in 50/50 French and American oak barrels (1/3 new) for one year.
Red cherry to the eye with toasted earth, wood, black fruit, coffee and vanilla to the nose. Firm tannins and fresh acidity add interest to the taste experience.
• Pair with saddle of lamb, lemon puree, labneh (yogurt cheese), polenta
5. Malleolus Tinto Fino 2011. Ribera del Duero
Ruby red to the eye, with blackberry, cassis and licorice aromas to the nose. On the palate look for mocha, black coffee, dark chocolate, and toast with polished tannins. The finish is powerful with cassis.
• Pair with Cachetes (braised pork cheek), king trumpet (mushrooms)
6. Malleolus de Valderramiro Tinto Fino 2011. Ribera del Duero
Pago de Valderramiro is the oldest vineyard of the winery and the vines are planted on clay soil with some limestone areas. Thanks to the clay, the wines produce powerful and complex aromas and the limestone contributes elegance. Malleolus de Valderramiro is macerated for 26 days in tanks of 3000 kg. Malolactic fermentation occurs in American oak barrels; aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels.
Ripe red cherry to the eye with black fruits and currants to the nose plus hints of flowers, toasted oak and minerality. The palate finds sweetness that is silky and balanced with polished tannins. Long and delicious finish.
• Pair with Ojo de Bife (grass fed rib eye), radish salad, anchovies
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© Dr. Elinor Garely. This copyright article, including photos, may not be reproduced without written permission from the author.