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The Story

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

 

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Vintage 2019

 

Excellent Vintage in Rioja – the ratification of the qualification as 'EXCELLENT' of the 2019 vintage, a milestone that had not occurred since 2011!

After a vegetative cycle with optimum ripening of the grapes, in recent months extraordinary results have been observed in the evaluation of the fermentation tanks, from which the Council's technicians have collected more than 4,500 samples, which have subsequently been tasted by a panel of 150 professionals.
Pablo Franco, director of the Control Body of the Regulatory Council, took stock of the 2019 campaign, referring to the excellent health and vegetative situation of the vineyard and the state of the bunches, loose, well aerated and accompanied by the moderate vigor of the plants. In Franco's words "the year was marked by the stability in the evolution of the vineyard, not exempt from certain very local incidents produced by meteorological phenomena of little general importance".

Regarding the resulting wines, the director of the Control Body of the Council highlighted their quality, underlining the extraordinary maturation in tannin: “a round and very silky tannin that has marked red wines since their elaboration, which is very pleasantly surprising for manifest itself now and especially for having these sensations in wines with a high polyphenolic load such as this year, where the IPTs define a marked structure, with intense colors. In turn, it is worth highlighting the consolidation of lighter tones in the color of rosé wines, with a predominant aromatic expression towards more floral notes. White wines are very expressive, highlighting their great volume on the palate, in line with what is seen in reds. The commitment to autochthonous varieties and the great evolution of the quality of their elaborations is also valued ”.

In the words of Pablo Franco, “there is no doubt that, according to the behavior of the vineyard and in turn what was discovered in the wines, the 2019 vintage is‘ THE harvest ’. A vintage that reflects the true mastery of time management by winegrowers and winemakers ”.

It should be remembered that the amount harvested in the 2019 harvest was around 385 million kg of grapes (of which 342 were red grapes and 43 were white grapes) and 267.27 million liters of the 2019 harvest obtained the certification as wines protected by the DOCa Rioja (22.11 for white, 12.50 for rosé and 233.08 for red).

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

Tasting a new vintage of Pingus is always a special moment, and there had been some excitement in Spain about the forthcoming 2019 Pingus. In Ribera del Duero, 2019 was a little warmer and lower yielding than 2018, and the wines show it (as they should), but Sisseck remarked how elegant the wines are showing. This ages in used oak, so the wines are a lot less oaky than the initial vintages that forged the Pingus legend—those initial vintages matured in 100% new barrels, and even part of the wine was racked to another new barrel to complete its élevage. But Pingus has been evolved to more elegance and freshness and nowadays uses zero new oak. In fact, since 2018 they have been using 2,000-liter oak vats, something that will continue in future vintages: the wine ages in oak vats first and then in used barrels. Like the 2019 Flor de Pingus, this is super elegant, balanced and really impressive, with a sensual texture. This was a big surprise, because I expected a riper and more powerful wine and instead found lots of elegance. I have to see how the élevage finishes, but this looks truly promising. It has a rare combination of ripeness and lightness. It reminds me a little of the 2012, while the 2018 is more in line with 2016. I also had the chance to taste the wine from vat and from barrique, and the difference was striking: the part in vat was a lot more relaxed, the barrique wine was more compressed and the quality of tannins was also quite different. It should be put in bottle in August 2021. They expect to produce 7,500 bottles, less than in 2018.

I tasted the bottled 2018s from Dominio de Pingus and also the unbottled 2019s, as the wines are sold as "futures," or "en primeur," through their importers and then, in most cases, offered by the importers to their final customers. 2018 is a stellar vintage with an amazing Pingus and the best PSI to date. 2019 was warmer, but the wines have an unusual combination of ripeness and elegance that Sisseck told me he's never seen before. Some of the 2019s might end up being better than the 2018 counterparts. Today, the 2019 Flor de Pingus is showing exceptionally well.

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Origin

Castile-León, Ribera del Duero

Highlights

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