Vega Sicilia’s owners, the Álvarez family, bought Bodegas Pintia in 1996, attracted to the galetstrewn terroir in the north Spanish wine region of Toro, the rich clay subsoils and the familiar altitude.Toro’s main point of difference to Ribera del Duero is the ambient temperature, which can blaze in the height of summer. The challenge here is to match concentration with elegance, a challenge met by Bodegas Pintia with no shortage of aplomb.
Toro (almost) didn’t suffer the frost of 2017 that decimated Ribera del Duero, and in that early harvest, the grapes for the 2017 Pintia were picked between September 6th and 17th trying to keep the freshness and acidity. They also did a softer extraction, reduced the percentage of wine that went through malolactic in barrel and used less American oak for the élevage, trying to achieve a more elegant wine. Still the wine is ripe, juicy, round and powerful at 15% alcohol, with a mellow palate with a pH of 3.9 and 4.5 grams of acidity. The wine matured in new and used oak barrels for 12 months. It feels quite fresh and harmonious, not showing any heat, not as fresh and atypical as 2016. It keeps the poise and the balance and has abundant but fine tannins. These wines repay time in bottle, and even if approachable now, it should get better with time. It’s like a refined version of the 2015. A triumph over the adverse conditions of the year. 204,240 bottles, 6,720 magnums and some larger formats produced. It was bottled in May 2019. [94+ Points, Luis Gutierrez – December 2021, robertparker.com]