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Robert Parker's Wine Advocate / I tasted an unbottled sample of the 2016 Pingus, which is still in barrel and due for bottling in August 2018. The different barrels had already been blended and put into the same barrels after the last racking three days before I encountered it. It has all the baby fat and is tender and primary, but you can sense the harmony and subtleness, the freshness and elegance it should develop, as the Ribera perfume is already incipient there. I couldn't help but think of the 1996, one of my favorite years. It's less concentrated than the 2015. It's also a little less ripe, and it probably has a tad less alcohol and more power. It's solid, but at the same time, it feels weightless; it has the inner strength and the subtleness of a ballerina. There should be some 7,000 bottles of this. This 21st vintage of Pingus might be one of the best ever, a modern version of the 1996...
Barrel Sample: 98-100
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
Winemaker Notes / Like those other esteemed names, Pingus has a quality that is often lacking in today’s “modern” wines—a sense of utter individuality. There is no other wine in the world, let alone Spain, that is quite like Pingus, and that singularity is one of the fundamental requirements for great wine.