Spotlight on Spain: Dominio DosTares Cumal 2005

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In what will very likely be my last post before heading to Spain I’m going to be writing about a wine made from one of the most obscure grapes in Spain: Prieto Picudo. Jancis Robinson describes this variety as unusual and musky, and notes that it is grown in an area of about 5000 hectares surrounding the city of Leon, which is actually fairly close to Bierzo. She describes the wines as light in colour but fairly distinctive. Leon is, of course, in the region of Castile Y Leon, which was so named because of the huge number of castles built when the region was the frontier between the Christians and Moors.

This wine, from producer Dominio DosTares (sister winery to Dominio de Tares, whose Bembibre Mencia I reviewed a couple days ago), is nothing like what Jancis describes. First off, it is made from 90 year old vines grown in DosTares’ own vineyards in Pajares de los Oteros (810m above sea level), is grown in sand and loam, is handpicked and sorted, and is aged in new oak barrel for 15 months. This wine is also not musty at all, but rather is all about density: plum, blackberry, chocolate and an oak influenced aromatic structure. This is huge on the palate, almost in a New Worldy way, but it transcends any formula by having tremendously unique fruit to it. Sure there is cassis and black fruit, but there is a funky quality, almost reminiscent of Chile, but far more interesting, that pervades the wine. The tannins are pretty massive and this could do with some age, but paired with Lamb this really sang. Personally, I’m still more excited about Mencia, but this is worth a look for any wine geek out there. 14% abv.

So, this short note ends my domestic exploration of Spanish wine as I head off to Spain for the visceral in person experience. I hope to post a few updates while I’m there, and also plan some longer write-ups when I return, particularly of my planned two days visiting Bodegas in Jerez. Until then, Salud!

$50 at Marquis Wine Cellars


  1. edward
    March 30, 2010


    I wish I was going to Spain. . . When I was last there, the wine bug had not infected me. A lost opportunity I guess.

    I look forward to the updates.


  2. Weston
    March 30, 2010

    I have had that and I must say its good but that same producer had a around 20$ a bottle that marquis had [2006 Dominio de Tares Bierzo Baltos, sold out] but it was really good! there was some funk on that one too

  3. Shea
    March 30, 2010

    Hi Ed,

    Why not make the trip!? I remember when I first went to France and Italy I too was not infected by the wine bug. Then again, I also saw amazing art, architecture and history, so not all was lost :).


    Are you sure you’ve had the DosTares and not the De Tares? The De Tares (including the one you had) is made with mencia, not prieto picudo. I actually did not like the Baltos at all to be honest, it was too thin for me, although it was likely an earlier vintage as I had it a good 2-3 years ago.

  4. edward
    March 31, 2010


    Two young kids who would be complaining all the time is what keeps my holidays local or to SE asia which is much closer to Australia. . .

    Being sober and not wine affected does seem to help with museums and art galleries! My favourite in Barcelona is the Picasso – though it is of course always packed. It never ceases to amaze me what a precocious and prolific talent he was.

  5. Kirk
    March 31, 2010

    Buen viaje. I’ll be interested in your opinions on Spain and Spanish wines upon your return.

  6. Shea
    March 31, 2010


    They will grow up one day, right? 😉 And yes, sobriety is definitely helpful for museums. I plan on checking out many while in Spain!


    Thanks! And I will certainly share everything I learn and experience. I can’t wait.


  7. Weston
    April 4, 2010

    it was the 2006 Dominio de Tares Bierzo Baltos double checked my tasting notes, and even the label matched up

    my notes

    “Let the Funk Blow off this bottle FYI

    A: A Slightly Muted nose but dark fruit coming through, with some nice spice/earthy notes

    T: Nice Sweet Tannins for sure Spanish sunshine, great acidity, and tannins [even on day 2] Some Dried Blueberries coming through even a slight fig note

    Conclusion: Solid wine, and even a great price, I’d probably buy it again and I think this has a wide ranch in crowd pleasing

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