Dominio de Pingus 2017
96 points Robert Parker, reviewed by Luis Gutierrez:
“I also tasted the 2017 Pingus, which had a tough competition with the bottled 2016 and a barrel sample of the 2018 (and the fermenting 2019, but that doesn’t really count). 2017 was a weird vintage for the zone, as the year was marked by one spring frost that decimated the crop and completely changed the balance of the year. In 2007, they put a windmill in one of the plots, and although the plot was not able to escape the frost, it was not as acute as it was in the Flor de Pingus vineyards, where they lost up to 40% of the crop. At the Pingus vineyards, they lost some 25% of the grapes. They started the élevage in used barriques, where they wine matured for 12 months, and then moved the wine to larger barrels so they could extend the aging. There are alternate sensations of ripeness and herbal aromas. You can see a little bit of the tannic style of a concentrated year (1995, 2004, 2014), which is very different from fluid years like 2016 or 1996, with a rustic Ribera character. They saved the vintage with their knowledge of their vineyards, whereas in the past, a vintage like this could have been a disaster. Sometimes wines like this can have an unexpected development in bottle… 5,700 bottles were filled in July 2019.”
While other Spanish wines have achieved international recognition, Pingus is one of the very few that has joined the ranks of the world’s most coveted wines. Like Coche-Dury’s Corton-Charlemagne, Guigal’s LaLa wines, or Giacomo Conterno’s Monfortino, Pingus is known and revered wherever great wine is discussed.
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 today that shares Pingus’ unique signature. And, ultimately, that singularity is one of the fundamental requirements for great wine.
A Legacy Upheld
Pingus is produced by the visionary Danish winemaker Peter Sisseck. Peter arrived in Spain in 1993 to manage a new project, Hacienda Monasterio. While planting and developing Monasterio, he began to dream about the old vines he saw dotted around the Ribera del Duero landscape. By the 1995 vintage, Peter had found a group of old vines that spurred him to embark on his own project. He called it “Pingus,” after his childhood nickname.
One can only imagine what the reactions were like when Peter showed up in Bordeaux at the March 1996 en primeur tastings. Yet, by the end of the week, Pingus was perhaps the greatest story of that season’s futures campaign. Robert Parker announced the wine on the back cover of his Wine Advocate, bestowing an unheard of 96-100-point score. The world took notice, and Pingus was on its way.