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