‘Over the past 20 years, Spain has become the most dynamic wine region in Europe,’ says Wine Spectator, referring to the emergence of modern icons like Numanthia and its ‘baby brother’ Termes, which offer a rarely-seen…

‘Over the past 20 years, Spain has become the most dynamic wine region in Europe,’ says Wine Spectator, referring to the emergence of modern icons like Numanthia and its ‘baby brother’ Termes, which offer a rarely-seen combination of power and elegance.

Upon its inception in 1998, Robert Parker wrote: ‘this sensational new offering will prove to be the breakthrough effort for the Toro appellation.’ This still rings true today. His sentiments have been echoed by various critics, including Neal Martin who wrote in the late-2000s: this wine should be at the top of any Toro-lovers’ list. Continuing their upward trajectory, both the 2016 Numanthia and 2017 Termes made it onto James Suckling’s list of Top 100 Spanish wines of 2020.

Numanthia’s style relies on a selection of ungrafted, unirrigated 70 – 120-year-old vines of Tinta de Toro (a clone of Tempranillo) – known as ‘the blackest of black grapes’. It yields great fruit concentration, intensity and structure – a more powerful and opulent style of wine compared to traditional Rioja.

Named after a legendary Spanish city, said to have resisted Roman invasion for 20 years in 133 BC, Bodega Numanthia is situated in Valdefinjas, D.O. Toro – closer to Portugal than Rioja. New oak, bold fruit and serious tannins are seamlessly knit with fresh acidity and fine purity; no doubt the result of this extreme continental climate with brutally cold winters and hot summers.

Numanthia has also obtained organic certification for 116 of their 200 hectares, and their main external suppliers are converting to organic and have started their certification process.

For lovers of these bold wines, try and pair these with steak, jamón, carpaccio or tomato-based dishes.

Tasting notes:

Numanthia, Numanthia 2016
‘A dense, layered red with berry, chocolate and walnut character. It’s full-bodied and very luscious with power and richness, but shows some reserve and lots of polish at the end. Drink after 2023.’ – James Suckling, 95/100 (Top 100 Wines of Spain 2020)

‘I was pleasantly surprised by the 2016 Numanthia, which is balanced and serious, with integrated oak and a soft palate with round tannins. It feels like a big improvement over the 2014 I tasted last time. 2016 was a rainy and cooler year with a later harvest when the old-vine Tempranillo was picked on September 25th and October 10th. It fermented with selected yeasts and matured in 225- and 600-liter French oak barrels, 60% of them new, for 18 months. Drink 2021-2028.’ – Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, 93/100 (Jun 2021)

‘This expressive red is marked with layers of cherry coulis, tangerine, toast and anise notes supported by full, refined tannins and details of wild herb, loamy earth and mineral. Powerful and luxurious in feel. Drink now through 2031.’ – Gillian Sciaretta, Wine Spectator, 93/100

Numanthia, Termes 2017
‘Ripeness and balance to this rich, flavorful red with chewy tannins and a dense, fruity center palate. It’s medium-to full-bodied, polished and focused. Drink in a few years. Try in 2021.’ – James Suckling, 94/100 (Top 100 Wines of Spain 2020)

‘This red shows concentration and grace, offering spice-laced cherry and red plum notes infused with anise, espresso and graphite elements. Refined, plush tannins give a nice feel throughout. Drink now through 2028.’ – Gillian Sciaretta, Wine Spectator, 91/100

 

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