the spanish aquisition

INTRODUCING A NEW ACQUISITION: 'Antidoto', a terrific new Ribera del Duero

We are delighted to announce a new acquisition, and one which completes a significant re-working of our collection from Ribera del Duero. We are very pleased to introduce you to:

2009 Hernando y Sourdais 'Antidoto' Tempranillo, $46 RRP

'Antidoto' is the first release of a new venture, ‘Hernando y Sourdais’ headed up by winemaker Bertrand Sourdais, who has a parallel existence as owner-maker of a Chinon property in the Loire Valley (Domaine de Pallus). Bertrand has for a number of years been a noted winemaker in Ribera del Duero, having been responsible for Dominio de Atuata (currently a bit Parkery for us, but there you go). We are talking the little-known Eastern sector of Ribera del Duero, which is dry, cold and very remote, known as Soria, a sub-region named after its main town. Bertrand’s project is based in a little village called San Esteban de Gormaz, and is working with pre-phylloxera vines from antique vineyards (2000 years’ heritage) organically grown at up to 1000m above sea level. Eastern Ribera del Duero is totally continental and a much more mountainous, cold and sparse entity than RdD as we generally conceive it. Bertrand’s partner in this venture, David Hernando has a day job as administrator at another Soria winery. Antidoto is based on 100+ year old vines (about 20% is from a 10yo planting), 40% of which are on sandy gravel, another 40% on limestone and 20% ferrous clay.

Apart from Atuata and his Loire business, Bertrand has worked for Alvaro Palacios, Leoville Las Cases and Mouton Rothschild. I first met him as a mate of Ricardo Perez Palacios. This is a pedigree that warrants some respect and curiosity I thought, and we’ve stayed in touch. In fact, at our first meeting (which was all about getting on the Mencia with Ricardo in a little restaurant in Cacabelos, Bierzo) he had with him a very rough draft post-ferment bottle of 2009 Antidoto. I had a quick squiz at it before plunging back into some old Corullon, and thought it pretty interesting; a year down the track with the wine finished, sporting a lovely label and the story having become clear, I’m happy to call it a little more than interesting! It’s based on vines planted in the 1880s.


2009 'Antidoto' Tempranillo

This is a very good Ribera del Duero at a great price and faithfully reflects old vines from a specific sub-climate of the region. It’s lightly handled, having a long maceration and very gentle extraction with fermentation in concrete (yay) and delicate oak ageing in 2-3 yo French barriques (off-casts from Haut-Brion, in fact). Ribera, Soria and Tinto del Pais speak quietly and clearly, winemaking is mute. It has a glossy dark sweet’n’sour blackberry nose with an energetic brambly ‘red tobacco’ lift over black pepper husks, cranberry extract and dark rocky earth. Palate is mid-weight, has nice juice plushness with a good sense of crunch, brimming oral minerality and earthy natural acidity. Direct and delicious, its juiciness gets a thoughtful structural squeeze from very subtle oak and high quality savoury-nutty fruit tannins. There’s a twitch of powerful, dark earthy spice in the back part taking the fruit somewhere else, and pleasing perfume release enacts a lovely finishing note.


Click here to read more about 'Antidoto'

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