the spanish aquisition

ANNOUNCING A NEW ACQUISITION: Peter Sisseck's Bodegas y Vinedos 'PSI'

We are DELIGHTED to announce a new acquisition. A truly masterful expression of Ribera del Duero, and a steal in price-quality terms. Meet PSI!

2009 'PSI' Tempranillo, $85 RRP

PSI is the brainchild of Peter Sisseck, founder of Dominio de Pingus. The idea is to utilise some neglected, but potentially great old assets, human and vinous, of Ribera del Deuro. In short, they are the old bush-vine holdings of the senior citizens of Ribera del Duero, old peasant guys in the main, who have been growing fruit to sell off for decades. In the main, despite the great age and quality of the vineyards, the resultant material and commercially realised wines have been uninspiring. In conjunction with Pablo Rubio (winemaker for Peter at Dominio de Pingus and Quinta Sardonia), Peter has re-fashioned the viticulture of these old vines, and rejuvenated the old guys’ relationship with their beloved gnarled old plots. PSI is biodynamic Tinto del Pais (local clone Tempranillo) from old bush-vine plots at around 900m altitude in the valleys of Gromejón and Perales.

PSI is the 23rd letter of the Greek Alphabet (and also the initials P and Si of the maker, senor Sisseck).

Smoky purple fruits in a meat’n’beet register, lifted red cola over meat glaze, with a pink peppercorn lift and the deep woodily-wizened smell of old, gnarly vines. Gently, beautifully earthy to smell and taste, densely fruited, it’s full and bright, not heavy, laden with dark cherry fruit - a fine, elegant and polished Ribera. Stylistically straddling Burgundy and Barolo, it’s ‘Rhoney’ perhaps: soft and juicy at front leading into wonderful old-vine fruit tannin, with gentle acid/spice closure at palate’s end. Beautiful deep, subtle palate, with wonderful fruit tannin, spice and the expression of vine age.

2009 is a warm vintage of great quality; in the sensitive hands of someone like Peter Sisseck we get wines combining power, complexity and deftness. Dry and hot from July on, September rains cooled and slowed things, and then the fruit was left to hang and harmonise quite late, being harvested in mid-to-late October. To obtain a softer extraction, the grapes of PSI are vinified in large traditional concrete vats. The wine then spends a further 17 months ageing in a combination of concrete and wooden vats and oak barriques, all of which nurture and gently extract the wine’s complexity and natural aromas. Winemaking (to the extent it’s discernible) is incredibly dab-handed, judicious, beautiful. Old vine material overly handled gets too dry and abstract, but this has been lightly handled and retains juicy deftness along with the old vine depth, extract and character. Stylish indeed, the palate is self-assured, composed, deeply-rooted in its sense of place.


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