Saturday, January 22, 2011

Numanthia Termes Toro 2008

Toro. The name is rather appropriate for the wines in this lesser known region of Spanish reds. Toro is Spanish for bull and much like the animal, the wines of Toro are not light and dainty by any means. The red wines of Toro are often big, muscular, and powerful. Although Toro primarily uses the same Tempranillo (although it is often called Tinto de Toro in the region) grape that its more famous neighbors in Rioja have used for centuries, differences in terroir and style generally result in much bigger and bolder wines. The vineyards of Toro generally see altitudes of 2000 to 2500 feet with full sun in the daytime followed by cool nights which gives the vines the ability to produce thicker skinned, riper fruit. Couple that with the touch off the right winemaker, and Toro can produce some delicious, powerhouse reds.

Numanthia Termes Toro 2008 is no exception to the Toro style. It is a big, powerful red that brings just enough balance and depth. The grapes are harvested from 30 year old vines grown in rocky soils, and they see extended maceration on the skins and 16 months in French oak before bottling. The wine is an intense purple-red color in your glass and brings a bouquet of cherry and black plum with notes of leather and pencil shavings. On the palate the cherry and blackberry fruit bring an initial explosion of flavor that lingers quite nicely on the palate in a sneaky long finish. You also get a hint of minerality on the finish which is a nice added dimension. The acidity is pleasant and not overwhelming and the tannins are just about perfect if the wine is given 30 to 45 minutes in a decanter. My favorite pairing for this wine is a glass and my comfy living room chair, but it also pairs rather nicely with Jamon Iberico or other Serrano ham and Mahon cheese. It would also work with grilled red meats.

Overall, this fantastic Toro is a great value, and I will be buying much more of it for a price tag of around $25. Its drinking beautifully now if decanted, and it should drink nicely for many years. To learn more about Numanthia Termes, see their website at and to see reviews of other Spanish wines see



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