Robert Parker 94
The limited, top of the range 2012 Termanthia is a single-vineyard Tempranillo from a plot of vines planted some 120 years ago. The bunches are hand-destemmed and then foot-trodden, and fermented in oak vats. The wine spends six months in new French oak barrels until malolactic is completed and then transferred to another set of brand new barrels for a further 18 months. The aromas are dominated by the élevage, with plenty of oak, smoke and peat, with something organic and earthy, even with some hints of Islay whiskey. If you look hard enough, there are some heady aromas of violets and blueberries underneath. The palate is quite straight within its full size and power, with good freshness, marked acidity, more elegance than the Numanthia and also better drinkability. Even with 200% oak, there is fruit here that talks about the quality, natural concentration and power of the grapes used, which are able to stand such brutal treatment. The new winemaker tells me the 2014 will only have around 80% new oak, and I’m looking forward to tasting the bottled wine, as I believe you could make an amazing wine with these grapes, and a softer hand in the vinification and aging. Around 5,000 bottles are produced per vintage. The new winemaker at Numanthia is Frenchmen Stephane Point who had worked at Chryseia in Douro, and more recently in the joint-venture he has with Bruno Prats (of Cos d’Estournell fame) in Alicante, Alfynal. The 2012s were already bottled when he arrived and he will bottle the 2013s soon; he is also implementing changes in the 2014s that were already in barrel when he started in March 2015. His first proper vintage will be 2015. I look forward to seeing what the new style will be, as I’m sure the wines will reflect the change.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2027
100% Tinta de Toro from Argujillo municipality at 800 m elevation. Very old vines dating back to 1870 and 1890, planted on sandy soils. Fermentation took place in French oak tronconic tanks of 10 hl and 20 hl. Foot-treading twice a day over 10 days followed by cold pre-fermentation for 5 days. Long maceration with the skins prior to six months’ ageing in new French oak barrels, and then the wine is transferred again into new barrels for 16 months. Racking is done every four months. Tasted blind. The wine has massive concentration and extract. It is extremely deep and ripe with tones of ripe black fruit, intense new French oak, pencil lead and sweet spices. It has an extra dose of concentration and muscle compared with the rest of wines from Toro. It still keeps elegance despite its massive palate. Glorious wine full of high-quality, juicy and fleshy tannins. It is a fantastic wine that has almost everything. (FC)
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2021