Psi Ribero del Duero 2009

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The story behind this wine is exceptional. Peter Sissek of Pingus fame and an absolute standard bearer for Ribera del Duero, realized that many fantastic sites in the region were languishing due to lack of tools and resources. In addition, small growers have traditionally been paid for the quantity of grapes they produce rather than the quality. At the same time, much of the land is home to some serious old vine material but most growers were unwilling to sell for reasons of attachment and tradition. Enter Peter’s ingenious idea to create a cooperative project that would provide incentives for quality grapes and high quality farming practices.

Working with Pablo Rubio, winemaker for Alonso y Yerro, since 2006 Peter identified the sites and farmers with the greatest potential and the best materials. The idea is to assist these growers with all the accumulated knowledge of Rubio and Sissek and to push them towards ever greater quality. These two also provide biodynamic preparations and farming techniques. As the quality improves, the growers are rewarded with higher payments for their fruit.

This passage from Rare Wine Company’s blog, gets to the heart of the matter:

The idea of “haves” and “have nots” is nothing new for Ribera del Duero. Until Pesquera’s Alejandro Fernandez made his breakthrough in the 1970s, Ribera had only one world-class wine producer, Vega Sicilia. Fernandez’s success sent the message that greatness was within the growers’ grasp, but it didn’t necessarily show them how to achieve it.

With Ψ : Psi, Peter hopes to give growers the tools with which to have better vineyards and make better wine. But the idea of the wine is just as interesting: to find the soul of Ribera del Duero by using techniques—including long, gentle macerations and virtually no new wood—that will maximize transparency.

Tasty Wine Approaching Distinction

The wine sees long macerations and almost no new oak, focusing instead on a mix of cement and large and small oak casks. This is a pretty exciting wine given the youth of the project. A powerful cherry and berry nose gives way to lots of minerality and brambly fruit on the palate. This is a very well balanced wine that has Sissek’s stamp all over it and yet shows a transparency of flavour that is extremely impressive given that this is only the third vintage of Psi.

It is my kind of wine – concentrated fruit, lift, and easy drinkability. This is also starting to become distinguished and will age well in the medium term. I’m very excited for the future vintages of this wine and I think Peter is moving towards his goal of finding the soul of Ribera del Duero.

Excellent
$65 at Kits Wine

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