It is much like one looking for oil.
Francois Lurton has that ability in his DNA to create wines in areas that have had some, but, not much recognized success.
To reach his goal on one project, Francois Lurton teamed-up with Michael Rolland, a noted international oenologist and wine consultant. In a sense, they are rivals that have the same goal in mind.
That goal is to find land and create a vineyard that will yield grapes that will produce wines that will be written about for years to come.
Michael Rolland explained that he wanted to make wine with Francois.
Spain and the Toro region was a perfect location for this project.
Michael said that I had had some prior experience in the area and Francois and I wanted to make wine in a hot region, so, Toro, near the Duero river was a perfect answer.
The region received its DO (Denomination of Origin) in 1987.
The project started in 2000.
Michael Rolland said that he had visited the Toro region twenty years ago and the wines he sampled were really dreadful. Even with awful wines, what Michael saw was true ‘potential’ in the region. With Francois help, they had an opportunity to create fantastic wines.
The land (vineyard) was close to the Duero river, which was perfect for drainage. In addition, the terroir and warm weather conditions helped mold their decision to create complex wines.
The team of Francois Lurton and Michael Rolland produced their first vintage of Campo Eliseo in 2003. The last released vintage was 2009.
In essence, the tasting of their wines is a culmination of twelve years of work.
They are showing the vintage progression form the original vintage to the present release. In layman’s terms, they are giving us the privilege to taste the wines of Campo Eliseo in what is called a ‘Vertical Tasting’.
The results were quite spectacular.
The consistency of the wines showed us the obvious characteristics of the Tinto de Toro grape and how this pair turned their plot in Toro into a quality, world-class product.
All vintages showed oak, dark fruit and spice.
My favorite vintage was the 2004, followed by the 2006.
Presently the 2009 is available for purchase with random stores selling past vintages.
Campo Eliseo is readily available at your favorite wine shop.
As a side note: If you can not find Campo Eliseo at your favorite wine shop, look for other wines from Francois Lurton. He currently has vineyards in Chile, Argentina, France and Portugal.
That is why they call him ‘The Flying Winemaker’.