Everybody knows about the wines from Ribera del Duero, one of the most prestigious wine regions in Castilla y Leon in Spain with iconic wineries like Vega Sicilia and Pingus. 

But few know about TORO , a relatively unknown DO denomination of origin appellation in Castilla y Leon  with a unique terroir that proves that this harsh and arid region is capable of producing exquisitely expressive reds.

 Like in Ribera or in Rioja, the grape is Tempranillo, but in Toro it is called Sangre de Toro or Tinto de Toro. It has been the primary grape grown in the region since the times of the Christian Reconquest, when an influx of bishops, priests, scholars and members of the royal family created a sophisticated market for fine wines in the 11th and 12th centuries. The DO was created in 1987 with just four wineries, but the area's success, combined with ever-rising land prices in other Spanish regions, have pushed the number to more than 40 wineries.

click here to Listen to Manuel Louzada Estate Director of Bodega Numanthia - Mo√ęt-Hennessy Spain, as he talks about making extraordinary wines from 80-year-old vineyards and sometimes older.  

 The Wines:

Numanthia Termes, Toro, Spain 2008 $29.99 

Numanthia, Toro, Spain, 2007  $50.00  The nose begins tight and clustered, with little flow or development. Florals are mixed with spicy cologne, as notes of blackberry and dark fruits waft through fleetingly, giving only hints of what might still be coming. Beets and cloves add an edgy, astringent tone. The palate also launches a bit closed, with heat and spice escaping intermittently from the dense core. Beets and vegetable flavors join with mulchy earth, cut garden stems and pomegranate to leave a bitter aftertaste following a medium spicy finish. But if one guesses that there is more, one would be right. At two hours, aromas deepen and broaden as the layers begin to unwind and release scents of garden flowers, freshly cut cedar limbs, forest floor roots, peat, and shovel-turned soil. A complex palate evolves, with the help of a sustained and pleasant acidity and strong tannins, to include a center of increasingly full and concentrated dark fruit, helping the ongoing presence of zesty spice toward balance, integrating notes of chocolate and cinnamon, and extending the finish. This wine is a perfect example of seeing through first impressions to a richer essence . ad more: