One of the perks of getting to work for a large wine group is that if they own other brands, you can discover new wines and new regions that you maybe wouldn’t have the opportunity to otherwise. For me, I’ve been dreaming a lot lately about going to Spain. The sun, the food, the music… and of course the wine! Even though I’m in Paris and it’s much easier to travel to Spain from here than my native California, there is still a lot of coordination (and funding!) involved. Luckily, Spain paid a visit to me the other day.
Working for Moët Hennessy, I am lucky to have exposure to discover other brands from all over the world. As part of the company’s brand education missions, there are employee tastings from time to time at the Moët Hennessy HQ in Paris. The tastings (for which the seats are extremely coveted) feature a different wine or spirits brand owned by the company.
Last Wednesday, the featured tasting was for Bodega Numanthia, a Spanish red wine producer in the north west of Madrid.
Bodega Numanthia, in the Toro D.O. region, specializes in red wine blends from the Tinta de Toro grape. The house is special because it focuses on preserving the natural patrimony of the region by making wine from 50-120 year old vines with a lot of character, and all of the vineyards are organically farmed. The Numanthia blend, the house’s signature wine, is a blend of 3 wines from 3 different terroirs – La Jara, La Manga, and El Argujillo. We tasted the Numanthia 2018 blend along with the 3 base wines from the different terroirs that make up the blend. These 3 which are actually never released on their own to the market – they are always used for blending. The base wines were actually from the 2021 vintage, so it was very interesting to see how the wines developed overtime in the 2018 blend.
Even though they were all made from 100% Tinto de Toro, the 3 wines from the different terroirs were vastly different. My favorite was the wine from La Jara. The terroir in La Jara is extremely rocky and pebbly with sandy soil beneath. The climate isn’t exactly comfortable – it’s very dry with very long, hard winters and hot, hot summers. However, this stress is what gives the wines such a unique expression and rich, fruity complexity. The wine from La Jara was rich on the rose and mouth with notes of sweet, ripe cherries, caramel, dried fruits/plum, and toasty vanilla notes from the French oak. The tannins were very well structured giving this wine the form to be able to rest and be enjoyed many years later. I found it the fruitiest and most floral of the four wines, and it paired perfectly well with the 4-month aged Manchego cheese that accompanied the wines.
I’m so happy to have discovered the delicious wines of the Toro D.O. and it will definitely be on my Spain itinerary one day!