Pingus. If you are not familiar with the name, a quick search will bring a plethora of articles and reviews of the sought after wine. If you are familiar, there is no explanation needed! Dominio de Pingus was founded in the 1990’s, when the region of Ribera del Duero was beginning to make waves. The previously un-famed area peaked wine enthusiast’s interests with it’s modern style of Spanish wine. Danish winemaker Peter Sisseck jumped on the opportunity to work with the old, gnarly vines of Ribera del Duero.
Peter is no one-hit wonder. He established himself in Spain while working at Hacienda Monasterio. While in Ribera del Duero, Peter searched for the perfect vineyards to create his own wine. The 5 hectares that he discovered and rehabilitated, now produce just 500 cases of wine per year.
What makes Pingus so great? The inaugural vintage of 1995 scored 96 points from Robert Parker. It is one thing to build a reputation over the years, it is another to hit it out of the park on the first swing! Structurally, the wine balances strength with elegance with little effort. And there is the ageability, Pingus can be cellared decades!
Since 2006, Pingus has been scaling back the use of new oak. Previous vintages were typically in 50% new and 50% second use barrels. In 2008, the wine was aged 100% in used barrels for the first time. As noted by Decanter in July 2012, Peter’s scaling back of wood is not reflective of the cost of barrels: “We are trying to avoid too much wood contact. As the vineyards get better, and are better managed, there is less and less need to use oak,” notes Peter. He considers over-use of oak ‘lazy winemaking’ – it should all happen in the vineyard.
“Inky purple. An exotic, expressive bouquet displays scents of blueberry, black cherry, violet, licorice and Asian spices, with a subtle smoky nuance in the background. Offers an array of densely packed black and blue fruit and floral flavors that are enlivened by bright minerality. Shows outstanding clarity and energy on the intense, lingering finish.” – Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar: 94 points
“The 2011 Pingus has a gorgeous, pure black cherry, cassis and blueberry scented bouquet interlaced by orange blossom and apricot. The oak is beautifully assimilated into the aromatic profile. The palate is full-bodied with a decadent entry. The tannins are ripe and rounded, imparting great tension and focus. There is both dimension and grace to this formidable Pingus that should blossom once it finishes its gestation. This is an outstanding Ribera del Duero wine. Drink 2020-2035+.” Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate: 94-96 points
In an interview with The Drink Business, Peter admits his greatest regret, not learning to play the piano. A winemaker and a pianist may share many qualities, but we are glad that he focused on grapes over keys.
Tannic is fortunate to have received a very small allocation of Pingus. After patiently waiting for the 2011 to be released, we are excited to offer Tannic members a chance to own Pingus.