Pingus was established in 1995 by Peter Sisseck, who had already made a name for himself as winemaker at Hacienda Monasterio. He located three separate plots, each containing very old vines of Tinto Fino, and established the winery. Peter’s tiny production of fewer than 500 cases comes from three parcels of ancient, head-pruned Tempranillo vines. Yields range from a high of 20 to an incredibly low 9 hl/ha. All the vines in the plots are very old. They have never been fertilised nor treated with pesticides and all grow following the traditional en vaso system. After fermentation in steel of large wooden vat, the wines are raised in 100% new French oak.
I was really looking forward to the 2016 Pingus in bottle, as the sample I tasted last time promised to be one of the best (if not the best!) Pinguses to date. Few (if any) vintages of Pingus have shown such integration of the oak, especially considering the wine is so extremely young. It has precision and symmetry, elegance and austerity à la Audrey Hepburn. This 2016 is like an updated version of the 1996, produced with a lot more knowledge that helped them find this purity, freshness and elegance. Peter Sisseck described it as seamless, and I could only agree. He also said that this is probably his ideal of what the wine from Ribera del Duero should be. The wine was kept in barrel for an extra couple of months and was finally bottled in August 2018; there were 8,100 bottles produced. It delivered all the sample promised, and perhaps a bit more… [100 Points, Luis Gutierrez – December 2019, robertparker.com]