When Louis Vuitton Make Wine You Get- 2008 Vega de Toro Numanthia Termes $22
So what happens when luxury goods brand Louis Vuitton makes wine? Honestly, value wouldn’t be the first thing to come to mind from a brand that charges $400 for a small purse (or $35 from that guy on the street corner in NYC). But value is what you get from the wine that placed runner up in the 2009 Wine Spectator Wine of the Year list. That obviously did good things for sales, as last year’s WOTY contender was from the 2005 vintage and the current release, the one being discussed here, is a 2008. Luckily counterfeiters can’t reproduce this wine like LV’s purses, nor do they have the financial incentive to since it’s only 22 bucks.
I’ve drunk the 2005 a couple of times and, while not quite as epic, the 2008 is very close. For $22, I can’t really think of a better value. This is seriously good juice and I can only hope that LV doesn’t realize what they have and raise the prices. In fact they do charge more for a version of this wine with their “Numanthia” bottling at $47.95. I have a couple of bottles of that one in my cellar, but I’m giving it a few years before I open one.
This wine pours a very deep, opaque ruby/purple which is the first indication that this wine is made in a new world style. On the nose, oak is present but well integrated, and the on the palate sweet dark berry flavors lead into firm tannins suggesting this wine will age very well; I’d say for at least a decade. Recent vintages of Numanthia Termes are a perfect summation of the effect the United States has had on international winemaking. This is a Tempranillo, made in a much more modern style than is traditional in Spain. It’s still very balanced but new oak exposes an additional layer of complexity and a silky texture, rare in old world style Tempranillo as are common in the Rioja region. This is a seriously concentrated wine that has, yes, less acid than some, but is much more exciting and, in my opinion, just plain better than wines 3 times this price.
At only $22 this touches on the high end of daily drinking status for some, and it delivers so very much more. Whether you consider $22 a daily drinker or wine a very special occasion, it doesn’t really matter. This wine will deliver in a major way regardless of the occasion. Tonight I enjoyed it with homemade leek soup and rare duck breast with red wine (2006 Line 39 Cabernet to be exact) reduction. You didn’t think I’d use the Termes to cook with did you?
Luxurious? Yes. Pricey? No.
Wine Spectator 91 points
“This bold red matches ripe blackberry and currant flavors with toast, dark chocolate and oak notes. The tannins are firm and well-integrated, and the smoky mineral note is alluring. Drink now through 2016. 7,000 cases made.”
International Wine Cellar 91 points
“($30) Opaque ruby. Sexy, oak-spiced dark berries and fresh flowers on the nose, along with notes of cola and star anise. Lush, palate-coating blackberry and candied cherry flavors are lifted by tangy acidity and gain sweetness with air. Fine-grained tannins add shape to the lush fruit flavors and carry through a long, spicy finish. Give this a bit of air if you plan to open it any time soon.”