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-International Wine Cellar
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The outstanding 2005 Termanthia has a much more reticent nose than the 2004, which is a difficult act to follow, but in many ways it is just as attractive, perhaps with better delineation and more elegance, scents of incense, pot pourri and white fennel interlacing the red berry profile. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, fresh and with a keen thread of acidity. Towards the finish, it fans out with notes of red currant, sage, white pepper and bitter orange, with fine persistency in the mouth. Juxtaposing the 2004 and 2005, it is the latter that I would prefer in my own cellar. Drink now-2025+
Espresso and allspice flavors show oak, but there's plenty of ripe black fruit on the palate. The plush texture is supported by ripe, muscular tannins, and licorice, mineral and graphite notes add complexity. Best from 2010 through 2020.
Worn leather, hickory and earth scents accent the deep fruit that Numanthia is known for. But it's the polished mouthfeel and consistent delivery of flavor and texture on this '05 that distinguishes it from so many big bombers from Toro. By the time it's done you hardly feel the tannins on the finish, which lingers comfortably for minutes. Excellent wine to drink over the next six years. Editors' Choice
The wine is named after a legendary Spanish city that was destroyed (after 20 yrs of resistance) by Roman legions. It is to Spain what the hilltop village of Masada is to Israel: a monument of history. Its 40 hectares of land are covered with an abundance of elements derived from the disintegration of Pliocene grit, clay and limestone.
Numanthia's first vintage was produced in 1998 and received a 95-point rating from Robert Parker. Since then, the Toro region has been producing wines that have begun to rival those of Spain's richest wine-producing regions of Ribera del Duero, Rioja and Priorat.
Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. Its close proximity to the San Francisco Peninsula and the San Pablo Bay is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo Bay create a cooling effect ideal for producing wines with crisp acidity and balanced flavors.
This cooler pocket of California lends itself to growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and more recently, Old-World style Syrah. While more delicate than most wines from neighboring regions, these are firmly structured, complex, and full of flavor. Carneros is also an important source of sparkling wines made in the style of Champagne.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.