The Promise of Ribera del Duero

Today’s Story: Dominio de Pingus Psi

Psi was born out of passion by Peter Sisseck of Dominio de Pingus fame. While Pingus is arguably the pinnacle for the best that wines can be from Ribera del Duero and Spain overall, Peter established Psi to focus more on how old vines and improved farming practices could demonstrate the true overlooked potential of the region. Ribera del Duero has long been a source of “quantity over quality” mentality because the farmers are often paid by the ton and chemical use runs rampant. Peter, however, works with growers who he has helped shift to organic and biodynamic farming practices with emphasis on quality, purity of fruit, and expression of terroir. As quality of fruit improves, Peter pays his partner growers higher rates. The wines of Psi are then produced using more traditional winemaking techniques, with long macerations and rare use of new oak. Psi is no doubt an exciting development in Ribera del Duero, and it will be fun to see how the wines change and improve over time.

Today’s Wine: 2009 Psi Ribera del Duero

100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo); 13.5% ABV

The 2009 Psi is opaque deep garnet in color with ruby hues. Once this opens up, the nose emits aromas of plum, black cherry, cola, cigar box, forest floor, spearmint, tilled rocky soil, and mineral. I will say it was fairly muted until given about 3 hours in the decanter. On the palate, which really steals the show here, I get notes of blackberry, cassis, black raspberry, tobacco, crushed rock, charred earth, green peppercorn, and mocha. This wine is medium-bodied with medium (+) acidity, high tannins, and a medium (+) length finish.

Price: $80 ($40-50 in Europe, but pretty hard to find). I think the $80 price tag here is a bit of a value stretch, but that is I think largely due to the fact this is very difficult to find and even more so with the age on it. If you find this closer to the $40 level (which I speculate is more of a release price here in the US) then it’s certainly worth a shot.

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