Since his teens, Mariano Garcia has been around great wines. The son of a vineyard worker at Bodegas Vega Sicilia, Spain’s most famous winery, he studied at Madrid’s School of Winemaking and Viticulture. By age 24, Mariano was the head winemaker for Vega Sicilia. Always pushing further, he developed two more world-class wineries: Alion in Ribera del Duero D.O., and Pintia in Toro D.O. Today, Mariano and his sons direct Bodegas San Roman and Bodegas Mauro.
Like Priorat, Toro is a newly famous and exciting region. Viticulture here, however, dates back to antiquity. Located on the Duero River, west of the Ribera del Duero D.O., reds are exclusively made from Tinta de Toro (what other areas call Tempranillo). The appellation makes flashy, masculine, dark reds that would appeal to any new-world wine drinker.
“Bodegas y Vinedos Maurodos (San Roman) is one of the leading lights of Toro. Founded in 1997 by former Vega Sicilia winemaker Mariano Garcia Fernandez, they own 60 hectares of vineyard in San Roman de Villaester and Hornija, mainly planted with Tinta de Toro and Garnacha, the average age of vines around 35 years interpolated with vines on un-grafted rootstock. The oak aging here is very prudent, with around 20% renewed each year, both French and American. The present winemaker is Mariano’s son Eduardo Garcia Montana, who trained in Bordeaux and Burgundy among other regions. These exceptional wines were suffused with personality, purity, a life-affirming sense of ‘controlled opulence’ that, to be frank, put many a more expensive Toro wine in its shade.” – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, April 2013
“The García family […] are turning more towards tradition, using head-pruned vines and eschewing wires when possible, using local grape varieties and moderating yields.” – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, February 2017