Remarkable Value from Toro

Today’s Story: Bodega Numanthia

Numanthia is a somewhat young winery, founded in 1998 and located in Valdefinjas in the region of Castile and León in northwestern Spain. The winery is named for the ancient city of Numancia, one whose residents resisted Roman rule for 20 years before ultimately sacrificing their lives instead of surrendering to the invading army. Though Numanthia is slightly over two decades old, their vineyards were first planted centuries ago and have weathered the passing of time and even survived the phylloxera crisis throughout Europe during the 19th century. These vines are planted in sandy and rocky soil, causing them to struggle and stretch their roots up to five meters below the earth’s surface to reach water and nutrition. The vineyards are planted 100% to Tinta de Toro and are made up of more than 100 plots, with some vines dating over 120 years old, and all farming is manual and organic while removing the use of pesticides. There are three expressions of Tinta de Toro in the Numanthia portfolio, which includes the Termes, Numanthia, and Termanthia bottlings.

Today’s Wine: 2012 Termes

100% Tinta de Toro (aka Tempranillo); 15% ABV

The 2012 Termes is opaque medium to deep purple/ruby in color. This requires about 45 minutes to open up, but once it does the nose emits aromas of blackberry, cassis, spiced plum, black raspberry, anise, smoked game, tilled rocky soil, wet granite, dark chocolate, nail polish remover, and oak. On the palate, this wine showcases notes of black plum, blackberry jam, blueberry, black cherry, cola, licorice, sweet tobacco, leather, cracked pepper, loamy earth, and light vanilla. This is medium-bodied with medium acidity, medium (-) tannins, and a medium (+) length finish.

Price: $25. This is a really good value wine, especially since I’ve been able to find it multiple times on sale around $15! Even at $25 per bottle this drinks incredibly well with some bottle age and the high ABV actually goes mostly unnoticed. Pair this with pizza, barbecue pork ribs, steak tacos, or tomato sauce pasta.

Promising Toro that Barely Misses the Mark Today

Today’s Story: Bodega Teso la Monja

Teso la Monja was founded in 2007 by Marcos and Miguel Angel Eguren, however the history of their family in Spanish winemaking stretches much deeper. The Eguren family has been cultivating vines and producing wine in Rioja Alavesa since 1870 and today carries their culminated knowledge down five generations. The Eguren family, alongside Jorge Ordóñez, have been instrumental in the revitalization of the Toro DO and were the original founders of Bodegas Numanthia in the region. When the family sold Numanthia in 2007, they did not want to abandon their projects in Toro and Teso la Monja was born. With Marcos as winemaker and his son Eduardo assisting, we have the fourth and fifth generations of this family once again continuing their tradition of passing along knowledge of crafting exquisite wines.

Teso la Monja is one of six wineries the family operates under the Viñedos y Bodegas Sierra Cantabria umbrella. If you have an interest in exploring their other labels, check out the website here.

Today’s Wine: 2012 Almirez Toro

100% Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo); 14.5% ABV

The 2012 Almirez is opaque deep purple in color. I decanted this for about 30-45 minutes before trying the wine and the nose opens to reveal aromas of cherry, plum, figs, red licorice, tobacco, earth, shoe leather, and oak. Once in the mouth, the wine displays notes of blackberry, black cherry, bay leaf, dried fig, chocolate, forest floor, dried herbs, and nutmeg. This Tinta de Toro is full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, medium (+) tannins, and a long finish.

Price: $20. Typically a price-point for some great value Toro wines, however this one is a bit unbalanced and either needs more time in the cellar or I would suggest trying a different wine. Pair this with pizza, barbecue chicken, or tomato sauce pasta.