"Ripe blue fruit, cola and floral oil scents pick up notes of licorice and allspice as the wine opens up. Fleshy and seamless in the mouth, offering bitter cherry, boysenberry and violet pastille flavors enlivened by a spicy nuance." —
Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media
Toro D.O.
85% Tinto de Toro 15% Garnacha, 15-50 year-old vines, trained to wire and bush vines on sandy and clay soil
700-800 meters / predominantly sandy clay with some stonier soils
Farming Methods
Certified organic viticulture incorporating some biodynamic principles
Hand harvested into small boxes
Fermented with native microbes, short 3 day maceration with skins
Aged 14 months in 75% French and 25% American oak barrels and vats
Suggested Retail Price
Wine Name
Prima 2015
91 (WE) 90 (JS) 90 (IWR) 90 (WS) 89 (VfC) (88-90) (RP)
Score Publication Review Copy
91 Wine Enthusiast Ripe black-fruit aromas blend with notes of sandalwood, turned earth and graham cracker to form a complex and inviting nose. A dry tight tannic palate is proper and drumming, while this Toro tastes of blackberry and wood spice prior to a focused but dry and tannic finish. Drink through 2024.
December 2018
90 Orange peel and plum notes make this a rather sweet Toro. The tannins are correspondingly moderate, and the finish is fresh and quite dry. Drink now.
August 2018
90 International Wine Report Forward, with nice concentration, the 2015 Prima Toro shows wonderful dark fruits with milk chocolate tones on the palate. With good lift and weight, this excellent value will cellar well over the next five to seven years.
June 2018
90 Wine Spectator This red offers a polished texture supported by a firm backbone, and offers reserved but harmonious flavors of black cherry, licorice, graphite and smoke. Drink now through 2025.
Oct 15, 2018 Issue
89 View from the Cellar The 2015 Toro “Prima” from Bodegas y Viñedos San Roman is not made from particularly old vines, with the age ranging from fifteen to twenty years of age, but they are farmed organically. The cépages here is eighty-five percent tempranillo and fifteen percent garnacha, with the wine raised for one year in older casks (both of French and American origin). The wine comes in at 14.5 percent octane and offers up a fine bouquet of black cherries, black raspberries, a bit of pepper, a good base of soil, woodsmoke, a touch of cola and hung game. On the palate the wine is ripe, full-bodied and nicely spicy, with a good core, chewy tannins and a long, well-balanced and robust finish. This is ripe, but not particularly warm on the backend and is really quite a good example of Toro. 2018-2030+.
Issue #75 – May/June 2018
(88-90) The Wine Advocate There was one more vintage to taste of the entry-level red, as the 2015 Prima was in tank and ready to be bottled. The 2015 is juicy and young but it soon opens up to reveal a fine wine. In this vintage they started using some 500-liter oak barrels for the aging, where the wines age slowly, which is something they like for a wine like this where they want to preserve the fruit. This meaty red will result in some 200,000 bottles.
Tasted from tank immediately prior to bottling
Issue 229, February 2017
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Prima 2016
92 (VfC) 92 (VM) 91 (RP) 91 (WE)
Score Publication Review Copy
92 View from the Cellar The 2016 Toro “Prima” from Bodegas San Roman is a blend of eighty-five percent tempranillo and fifteen percent garnacha. The wine is raised for one year in used, French and American oak casks and comes in at 14.5 percent octane in this vintage. The bouquet is deep and very promising, offering up scents of cassis, black raspberries, a bit of saddle leather, spit-roasted meats, a touch of anise and a fine base of dark soil tones. On the palate the wine is deep, fullbodied and beautifully soil-driven in personality, with a fine core of fruit, suave, moderate tannins and outstanding length and grip on the complex and very well balanced finish. This is first class Toro and a bargain, as here in the states, it sells for $25! This does not show its octane at all and is very precise on the backend, with impeccable balance and no signs of heat. 2019- 2040.
Issue #78 - November/December 2018
92 Vinous Media Saturated ruby. Vibrant cherry, red currant and exotic spice scents show very good clarity and take on a brisk mineral nuance with air. Seamless, lively and focused on the palate, offering juicy red fruit and floral pastille flavors and a hint of vanilla. Very fresh and lithe in style, finishing long and silky, with fine clarity and gentle tannic grip. 2023- 2033
Josh Raynolds - February 2021
91 The Wine Advocate The entry-level red 2016 Prima was produced with grapes from a cooler growing season with an early but long harvest. It's mostly Tinta de Toro with some 10% Garnacha and other red grapes. It fermented in stainless steel, including malolactic, and matured in French and American oak barrels and foudres for 12 months. They are increasing the percentage of foudres used, trying to respect the fruit. It has nice fruit and good freshness, and it's lively and fresh. This is approachable and drinkable, with a nice, soft texture, kind of light for a wine from Toro, in a way reminiscent of a red from Douro. A soft, lighter and fresher style. 215,000 bottles produced.
August 2018 - Issue 238
91 Wine Enthusiast Bold black-fruit aromas include a very ripe note of prune. Typical of wines from San Román in Toro, this is a tannic number but within reason. Savory oak pushes a bacony flavor onto blackberry fruit, while this is meaty and spicy on the finish, sort of like beef jerky. Drink this strong boy through 2026.
August 2019
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Prima 2017
92 (WRO) 91 (VM) 91 (RP) 90 (WB) 89+ (VfC) 89 (WS)
Score Publication Review Copy
92 Wine Review Online Taste this wine every year, and find it easy to recommend every year on account of its great consistency of style, but this 2017 stands as a departure. It is very ripe (but not pruny at all, nor hot with alcohol), and shows this in the form of very soft, succulent fruit that is much more open and flamboyant than usual. Additionally, this is the first release of the wine I’ve tasted that shows a slightly funky, earthy, Brettanomyces character, which actually makes the wine interestingly wild and more complex than usual. The Brett does not overwhelm the wine at all (just makes it seem French!), though it will make drinking this earlier rather than later advisable. That’s hardly a sacrifice or a flaw, as the ripe fruit makes this totally enjoyable now. Food pairing? Easy: garlicky braised lamb shanks. Bingo!
Michael Franz - October 6, 2020
91 Vinous Media Dark ruby. Mineral-accented blackberry, cherry compote and baking spices on the deeply perfumed nose. Sappy, palate-coating red and dark fruit liqueur flavors pick up smoke, vanilla and candied licorice qualities with air. Turns spicier on the persistent, subtly tannic and penetrating finish, where the red berry and floral notes repeat strongly. 2023- 2033
Josh Raynolds - February 2021
91 The Wine Advocate The entry-level 2017 Prima has meaty notes, hints of iron and soil. San Román had less influence from the killer frosts of the year, and the wines are not as structured. The grape harvest for this wine started in August, the earliest ever. Surprisingly enough, the wine is more aromatic and floral than ever, perhaps the influence of Garnacha. It has a serious, chalky palate, dry and tasty. A surprise for the vintage. 208,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2019. This matured in 500-liter barrels and foudres, and the oak is very integrated.
The García family from Mauro has also started converting their vineyards to biodynamic, a fascinating change, but a normal move after their organic work.
December 2019
90 Washington Wine Blog The 2017 ‘Prima’ Toro delivers straightforward dark fruits that meld with chocolate, tobacco leaf and damp earth on the palate. Full-bodied, with good acidity, enjoy this over the next five to seven years. Drink 2020-2027.
Dr. Owen J. Bargreen, CS - July 2020
89+ View from the Cellar The 2017 Prima from Bodegas y Viñedos San Román is not composed entirely from Tempranillo (as most wines are in Toro), but rather from a blend of eighty-five percent Tempranillo and fifteen percent Garnacha. The vineyards here are farmed organically, with some parcels already in conversion to biodynamic methods. The wine offers up a deep and ripe bouquet of black cherries, sweet dark berries, cigar ash, dark soil tones, pretty spice elements and a nice mix of French and American oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and shows nice spice tones from the Garnacha in the blend, with a fine core, ripe, buried tannins and just a bit of heat poking out on the long and nascently complex finish. This is listed at 14.5 percent octane and the bit of backend alcohol is the only element here that keeps the score down a hair, as it is a very well-made wine that just hails from a torrid and drought vintage, but at least the physiological ripeness here is excellent. 2025-2045.
Issue #86 - March/April 2020
89 Wine Spectator This red is plump and plush. It offers black cherry and currant flavors with notes of toast, spice and dried herbs. Bright acidity balances smooth tannins. Generous. Tinta de Toro and Garnacha. Drink now through 2027. 17,916 cases made, 3,000 cases imported. — TM
November 2020
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Prima 2018
92 (RP) 92 (WRO) 92 (VfC) 91 (VM)
Score Publication Review Copy
92 The Wine Advocate The entry-level red is the 2018 Prima, and it's from a cool and rainy year that delivered a good crop and was picked from September 12th. It's a blend of Tinta de Toro (a.k.a. Tempranillo) and 15% Garnacha and other varieties, and it fermented in 12,500-liter stainless steel vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in oak barrels and foudres for 14 months. It's creamy but has more integrated oak, as they now don't use any 225-liter barrels anymore. This has an approachable profile that is aromatic and floral, and it's juicy and has a succulent palate. It's fruit-driven and polished by one year in bottle. This has to be one of the finest Primas to date. 200,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2020. 2021-2026.
Luis Gutiérrez - Issue #255 June 2021
92 Wine Review Online Although this is the entry-level wine from Bodegas San Román, it would be a bad mistake to underestimate it, as it is exceptionally well made and among the very best wines made anywhere in the world at its price level. Although recent vintages are easier to enjoy when young, as they are less oaky (this is true also for the “San Román” bottling, due to the introduction of a high-end “Cartago” bottling in 2013 that has garnered more of the newly purchased barrels), this is still a sturdy and serious wine that manifestly merits either cellaring or consumption upon release, and rewards either of these choices handsomely. Restaurant buyers should be particularly attentive to this, as the wine can be a hit on the floor as soon as it is delivered, but also improve almost however long it sits in inventory. My bottle was actually better 24 hours after being tasted initially, which is very impressive for a wine in this price category; the fruit was still fresh, the integration of fruit, wood, acidity and tannin was even more impressive, and the wine had picked up savory undertones that didn’t show as expressively immediately after opening. In sensory terms, this is really a medium-bodied wine that offers the aromatic and flavor impact of a full-bodied one, making for great versatility with food: it won’t overwhelm a dish based on pork or even chicken, but can pair beautifully with lamb or beef without being remotely washed out. Almost every $25 wine should run and hide if threatened with a head-to-head comparison with this wine.
Michael Franz - October 26, 2021
92 View from the Cellar The 2018 Prima’ bottling from Bodegas San Roman is composed of a blend of eightyfive percent tempranillo and fifteen percent garnacha. The vines range from twenty to fifty years of age, are farmed organically and are in conversion to biodynamics. The wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts and was raised in combination of seventy-five percent French and twenty-five percent American oak, with all of the casks used. The wine comes in at 14.5 percent octane and offers up fine nose of black cherries, plums, cigar wrapper, a nice touch of soil and a gentle framing of nutty oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with good focus and grip, fine nascent complexity and a long, ripely tannic and nicely balanced finish. This carries its octane very well indeed, and though there is a hint of backend heat, the wine will age very gracefully and is quite impressive. 2028-2055.
John Gilman - Issue #91 / February 2021
91 Vinous Media Saturated ruby. Cherry, floral and vanilla qualities on the nose, along with building spice and tobacco notes. Smooth and fleshy in style, showing good depth and appealing sweetness to the juicy, oak-spiced cherry and dark berry flavors. Finishes smooth and long, with repeating florality and gently firming tannins. 2022-2028.
Josh Raynolds – July 6, 2021 Central Spain Additions
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Prima 2019
92 (WRO) 92 (OB) 92 (WE) 91+ (VfC)
Score Publication Review Copy
92 Wine Review Online Like everything else in an environment where inflation is running at 9%, this wine is a bit more expensive than it may have been when you last purchased it, but it seems more pure and polished in almost every successive vintage, and the value of “Prima” is increasing — not decreasing. The blend now includes 15% Garnacha, which seems unlikely in Toro, but this house’s varietal Garnacha is wonderful, as it its effect on this wine. More supple and succulent than most previous vintages, this still shows admirable concentration and flavor impact, with dark cherry and berry fruit notes tinged with some red and blue tones as well — not to mention some alluring savory accents that are already emerging and lending real complexity at this early stage. Sheesh — for 25 bucks, this should shame almost all of its competitors into hiding.
Michael Franz - July 26, 2022
92 The 2019 ‘Prima’ is a gorgeous new wine by San Roman. On the nose this takes on layers of toasty oak alongside ripe blue fruits and serious finesse. Finishing long, this is sturdy and dense Toro wine to consume over the next seven years. Drink 2022-2029
Owen Bargreen - August 18, 2022
92 Wine Enthusiast Fruit of the wood, toffee and clove aromas prepare the taste buds for fruit of the wood, cara- mel, cocoa powder and anisette flavors wrapped in a layer of polished tannins. A nice note of espresso appears on the lingering finish.
Mike DeSimone - Issue October 2023
91+ View from the Cellar The 2019 Prima’ bottling from Bodegas San Román is their “young vine” cuvée, as these organically-farmed vines range from fifteen to fifty years of age! The cépages includes fifteen percent Garnacha to go along with the Tempranillo, and the wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts and raised in a combination of seventy-five percent French and twenty-five percent American oak vessels for fourteen months prior to bottling. The wine offers up a bit of smoked meat tones from the inclusion of the Garnacha, with scents of dark berries, black cherries, a touch of leather, meaty elements, cigar smoke and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, ripe and complex, with a fine core of fruit, ripe, well-integrated tannins and a long, balanced finish that shows a bit of backend heat on the close. This is a very well-made bottle of Toro, but it strikes me as perhaps a touch higher in octane than its stated 14.5 percent. 2030-2075.
John Gilman - Issue #98 March/April 2022
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Prima 2020
93 (Decanter) 92+ (RP) 90+ (VfC)
Score Publication Review Copy
93 Decanter Magazine 14 months in oak lend this blend of Tinta de Toro and Garnacha a poised frame and complexity. Alluring nose of violet, blackberry and red apple, with a beautiful balsamic nuance. Elegant palate, showing freshness and well-crafted tannins very well crafted - firm, assertive but round. Spicy nuances of cardamom, nutmeg and pink pepper.
Decanter Magazine February 2023
92+ The Wine Advocate The 2020 Prima used to be the lightest and most approachable of the reds from San Román until the birth of the varietal Garnacha. It was produced with Tinta de Toro and 15% Garnacha and other varieties with 14.5% alcohol and mellow acidity, cropped from a cooler year of lighter and fresher wines. This had a soft vinification with short macerations and an élevage in 3,000- and 4,000-liter oak foudres and 500-liter barrels for 14 months, a regimen that seems to work quite well with the already powerful wines from the region, making them more approachable and better balanced. Delicious. 171,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2022. Drink 2023-2027.
Luis Gutierrez – The Wine Advocate January 2023
90+ View from the Cellar The 2020 Prima Tinto from Bodegas San Román is crafted from a blend of eighty-five percent tempranillo and fifteen percent garnacha. The vine age that go into this bottling range from fifteen to fully fifty years of age, with the vineyards farmed organically and just starting to conversion to biodynamics. The wine is aged in a combination of American and French oak barrels for two years, with twenty-five percent of the casks new. The wine offers up a deep and complex aromatic constellation of raspberries, black cherries, smoked meats, cigar wrapper, dark soil tones, a nice touch of spice and a well-done framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full- bodied and rock solid at the core, with good focus and grip, ripe, firm tannins and a long, nascently complex and well-balanced finish. This is going to be a fine bottle once its tannins soften up a bit more. 2031-2065.
John Gilman - Issue #103 January/February 2023.
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