2018 Pingus PSI

Year: 2018
Appellation: Ribera del Duero
Country: Spain
Wine Advocate: 94
James Suckling: 95
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
$24.95

"I had already tasted the unbottled 2018 PSI, which saw a jump in quality after they got a new winery where they had much better working conditions. This wine is produced with purchased grapes from 200 hectares in around 750 plots and 20 different villages throughout Ribera del Duero (they now rent and work 50 hectares of these vineyards themselves). In 2018, they were able to use some 12% Garnacha and 2% other grapes, including whites that are found intermixed with the Tinta del País/Tempranillo in the old vineyards. Garnacha adds freshness, and the wine shows it—the character of the grape comes through in the blend. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured mostly in 5,000-liter and 10,000-liter oak vats, but 20% of the volume aged in used French barriques for 18 months. The color is quite light (relatively speaking), bright and lively, the nose perfumed, floral and elegant, like no PSI before. The palate is medium-bodied, with fine tannins, and it feels terribly balanced and beautifully textured. It's elegant more than powerful but full of energy. This is without a doubt the finest PSI to date. Viva Garnacha! 360,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in June 2020.

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." (WA)

"A rich red with chocolate, ripe fruit, walnuts and spice. Full-bodied and round with ripe tannins and a flavorful finish. Plenty of ripe fruit at the intense finish and lots of old-vine character with bark and wet-earth undertones. Real deal. Drink or hold." (JS)

Winery Notes:
PSI is the 23rd letter in the Greek alphabet and is the name of Peter Sisseck's (of the coveted Pingus and Flor de Pingus) utopian wine from Ribera del Duero. Peter has sought out the best independent vineyard growers in Ribera and is incentivizing them to improve viticultural practices and shun chemicals, lower yields and practice biodynamics by paying them increasingly for the fruit as they improve. The result is a "give back" to the region wine that also expresses the "soul" of Ribera.