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Peter Sisseck was ecstatic about the quality of the 2015 Pingus. Since he no longer uses any new oak—and hasn't since 2012—the élevage in used wood is extended to 23 or 24 months. This is the first vintage certified as biodynamic from Demeter. We poured the wine and took half an hour to get to it, as the wine was very closed at first and opened up very slowly in the glass. Little by little, the nose started showing a floral character, what I consider the perfume of great Ribera del Duero, the elegant part that compensates the powerful nature of the wines and gives the finesse to the best wines. The wine has been very consistent in the last few vintages, as Sisseck reckons the old but balanced vines (they started working in biodynamics in 2000) cushion the vintage differences more than other younger vineyards. These vines were planted in 1929, and they have always been farmed organically and in a traditional way. This is truly outstanding. In a way, it made me think of 2010, even if they are very different years. It was bottled in August 2017, and there are some 6,500 bottles of this gem. Even if very young, it already drinks well. Great wines tend to be drinkable throughout their life...
"Intense, opaque, jet plum in colour, the nose here reveals red and black fruit and saline minerals, violet and rose notes and mocha caramel – deliciously complex. The palate is smooth, luscious and seductive - tannins present but fruit-coated and beautifully integrated. This is a gorgeous wine, no hard edges, simply sumptuous, beautifully balanced, generous and poised through to a protracted finish." Recommended drinking from 2021 – 2030+. Producers notes.
Dominio de Pingus was established in 1995 by Danish winemaker Peter Sisseck. It is situated in the La Horra area of the Ribera del Duero region. The wine produced, Pingus, is considered a "cult wine", sold at extremely high prices while remaining very inaccessible.
On the estate's winemaking philosophies, Sisseck has stated, "The vines in my plots are very old. They have never been fertilised nor treated with pesticides and all grow following the traditional en vaso system. They are perfect."
The first vintage of Pingus was 1995. The production of this wine is always very limited, in 1995 it was only 325 cases. Yields as low as half to a quarter of the finest red Grand Cru Burgundies. Of the annual production of Pingus there is typically less than 500 cases, though in poor vintages no Pingus is made.
Pingus is the first wine to transcend traditional Spanish winemaking. In it Peter Sisseck has created a modern archetype of Ribera de Duero. With only a few vintages released, Pingus is already part of an elite club of top Spanish wine producers whose wines combine a true sense of their origins with fiercely singular personalities.
Pingus is undoubtedly world-class and helped to confirm the Ribera del Duero as a match to any of the traditional European appellations. This is nevertheless a distinctly Spanish wine.
Soil: limestone-rich clay and gravel
Production area: 4 ha
Grape varieties: 100% Tempranillo
Average age of vines: 70 years
Harvest method: hand picked
Winemaking: no fining or filtration, minimal rackings. Pingus has been biodynamic since 2000
Ageing: 18-20 months in new oak barrique
100% Tempranillo (Tinta del Pais). Dominio de Pingus comes from two complementary terroirs covering 4.5 hectares. The first, “Barrosso,” lies on gravel and sand over alluvial limestone. The second, “San Cristobal,” is on southwest facing clay slopes. From these squat, gnarled vines of sixty years and more, Mr Sisseck coaxes a ridiculously small production ranging from 20 hectolitres per hectare (hl/ha) at best, to as little as 9 hl/ha. Production in 2015 was 6,600 bottles.
Both Pingus and Flor de Pingus are in great demand. Having set enormously high standards from the outset, Flor de Pingus has become even more focussed as Mr Sisseck, mirroring Pingus, has fully embraced organic and biodynamic principles. Pingus has been fully biodynamic since 2000 and Flor de Pingus from 2005.