Young, Complex, and Very Promising 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.

I previously reviewed the 2009 Psi Ribera del Duero, so I wanted to return today and taste a younger vintage.

Today’s Wine: 2018 Psi Ribera del Duero

86% Tempranillo, 12% Garnacha, 2% other local varieties; 14.5% ABV

The 2018 Psi is deep ruby in color and entirely opaque. I decanted this for about two hours due to its youth, and drank it over the following hour-plus. The aromas are of medium (+) intensity, and the nose showcases aromas of black cherry, fig, anise, tobacco, smoked meat, scorched earth, gravel, grilled herbs, cedar, and chocolate. Meanwhile the flavors are also of medium (+) intensity, with the palate displaying notes of black cherry, stewed black plum, fig, blackberry, black licorice, tobacco, crushed rock, baking spice, and cedar. This dry red is full-bodied with high acidity, high tannins, high alcohol, and a long finish. There is already great balance here and this bodes well for the long haul as well given the structure.

Price: $32. This offers great value in my opinion, particularly given you can find it at some stores for closer to $25 and to me it drinks closer to a $40-50 bottle. The quality is no-doubt incredibly high and I was blown away by how complex this is for such a young age. Definitely decant for a while if you open this now.

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