One of Spain’s most dynamic red wine regions is Toro just west of Rueda. For years it was regarded simply as a source of rather rustic, deep-coloured red from the local Tinta de Toro grape, a strain of Tempranillo. But an influx of sophisticated wine producers (including some of Spain’s most famous) has changed all this and the region has attracted enough investment that its reputation, and prices, have risen. One of the most ambitious newcomers is Vega Sicilia of Ribera del Duero whose winemaker is fashioning extremely grown-up red wine at the Pintia estate. The wines are chocolate-rich and, in the right hands, can have great sweetness and smoothness. Numanthia is another newish, highly acclaimed producer. Being downriver of Ribera del Duero, Toro is usefully less prone to spring frosts.

In a nutshell
Bullish reds.
Main grapes