Splendor in the Glass

Arturo Ciompi's blog on wine

Spain/South Africa

Tag icon Published under Weekly Tastings

Clock icon October 14, 2013

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201208NumanthiaOKFrom the northwestern Spanish region of Castilla Y Leon comes the Toro wine denomination. Only 40 miles from the Portuguese border, this rural, hot and dry landscape makes remarkable wines, of which the Numanthia name is paramount. Numanthia is the ancient name of the city that once resisted Roman invasion. Today, it stands for superior winemaking at three levels. The Termes bottling is their everyday release, although far from everyday in quality. The Numanthia label, which is reviewed today, is an old vine, highly extracted wine of vigor. Their ultimate bottling is Termanthia, a true first-growth of extraction and flavor, with a price to match! Do get to know these wines, fashioned from the Tempranillo grape and, in my experience, never disappointing.

  • 2009 Numanthia, Bodega Numanthia, Valdefinjas $59 srp

Deeply colored blue-black appearance. The nose shouts reduced raspberry, black cherry and dark chocolate. Included in its complex bouquet are woody richness, saturated chunky yet velvety impression, Asian spice, mint and a decided minerally edge. The mouthfeel is sappy – almost a carpet bomb of luxurious dense fruit. Vegetarians may be put off (or excited) by its meaty, beef-like flavor component! Sweet fruit lingers long on its finish and increasing suppleness emerges with three hours of aeration. Carries its 15% alcohol in perfect, yet heady, balance. Can be enjoyed now, but better from 2016-25.

93/100 points

UnknownMulderbosch Vineyard wines, from the western cape of South Africa, have been imported by the U.S. for more than two decades. Sauvignon Blanc has, from the get-go, been one of their signature and “raciest” wines. New American investment, including consultation with Andy Erickson, winemaker at Napa’s Screaming Eagle Winery, promises even further excitement beginning with the 2011 vintage. Today’s wine, from that year, bristles with energy.

  • 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Mulderbosch Vineyard, Western Cape $18 srp

Bright, greenish-tinged color. Fresh lime and grapefruit fill the sinuses with minerally, mouthwatering acids and spunk. Grapefruit flavors persist on the palate, with an unexpectedly smooth, melon-tinged finish that makes it fun to drink all by itself. A slight sense of sweetness persists on the aftertaste. This calls out for scallops, grilled poultry or a fashionable quinoa salad. Drink now-2015.

89/100 points

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