Spain is rarely discussed on this blog but it is never too far from my heart. I have a couple of Spanish DOs that I work with and I often drink Spanish wines. I studied Spanish for seven years after returning home from Italy but alas alak, have spent precious little time in that country of late. I do get to travel there though thanks to the wines I can savor here in New York.
This week’s Spanish Sunday is about a wine from the DO of Toro in Spain in the province of Zamora, located in the west of the region of Castilla y León. It is from the well-known winery Numanthia. While a tad less famous than Numanthia and Termanthia, Termes, the wine I had at the Mandarin Oriental in the Lobby Lounge is more affordable and approachable. Retailing at around $25, check out Wine-Searcher, it’s a beautiful expression of the Tempranillo grape in Toro where it is known as Tinta de Toro. The Toro region has been famous since Roman times for its great red wines.
I first tried this wine at a Numanthia dinner back in 2011 hosted by Gregory Dal Piaz, then Editor-in-Chief of Snooth. I thought the wines were lovely and the dinner pairings were outstanding at the time.
The wine comes from vineyards located at 700 meters above sea level and there are some 100 year old vines. Many are also ungrafted because phylloxera never flourished in this region. It macerates for an extended time on the skins before fermentation at controlled temperatures. Post-fermentation, the wine spends 16 months in one year old French barrels.
On the nose and palate, you get the berries you expect from Tempranillo driven wines together with pepper and spice, cedar notes and a hint of leather and cacao. If you can afford the pricier Numanthia and Termanthia, they are certainly wines to try once in a lifetime. If you can’t, I think you’ll find the Termes a great alternative from this region.