Have you ever tasted a Pingus wine? Dominio de Pingus, to give it its proper title, is one of the finest wine producers in Spain. From its tiny vineyard in the Ribera del Duero region, it routinely produces some of the best red wine in the world. For all its prestige and fame, however, few wine lovers ever get the opportunity to taste a Pingus wine. Fundamentally, this comes down to two (related) points: It’s rare and it’s expensive.
So there’s not a lot of Pingus wine to go around, and what’s out there is far from cheap. What makes Pingus wine so special, you ask? Let’s take a closer look and try to find out.
Why you should try a Pingus wine
The simple answer is that Pingus is one of the world’s best wines. In its native Ribera del Duero region, there is only one other wine that really comes close: Vega Sicilia. The fact that Vega Sicilia has been around since 1864 and is perhaps the most iconic Spanish wine of all time should indicate that Pingus wine is something very special indeed.
But what makes Pingus wine so special (read: expensive)?
Even by fine wine standards, Pingus enjoys a stellar reputation – and commands especially high prices. That’s really saying something. There’s got to be some logical reason why Pingus wine is on such a pedestal, right? Right! In fact, there are many reasons for it. Here’s five:
Founder and maker of all Pingus wine, Danish oenologist Peter Sisseck is a living legend in fine wine. Having cut his teeth in Bordeaux and later at Hacienda Monasterio, Sisseck founded Pingus in 1995 and the rest is history.
Well, make that “vineyards“. Pingus wine comes from a couple of tiny vineyard plots in the Ribera del Duero region, exclusively planted with old vines. Some vines are more than 70 years old and have never been treated with any fertilisers or other nasty stuff. The Pingus vineyard land is pure, unadulterated beauty.
Sisseck has been making biodynamic wine at Pingus since 2000. Biodynamics is an arm of organic farming that takes things to extremes. In essence, the biodynamic winegrower treats his or her vineyard like a living, self-contained organism. There are all sorts of weird and sometimes controversial practices, but it usually ends up with the winegrower becoming seriously attuned to the land itself and knowing every plot inside and out. It’s also time-consuming and labour-intensive, which usually makes for a more expensive bottle.
The production of Pingus wine is small, to put it mildly. Of the tiny vineyard land – around 4 hectares in total – there are exceptionally low yields. The average yield of just 12 hectolitres of wine per hectare of land is microscopic. An average high-end Bordeaux château might see yields closer to 50 hectolitres per hectare, by comparison, and from a considerably larger vineyard area. Some such producers command even higher prices than Pingus.
Pingus wine routinely receives scores in the high 90s from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and other leading wine magazines. Three Pingus wines have received perfect 100-point scores from that magazine, an enviable record for any producer anywhere.
How to enjoy Pingus wine
Wine is for enjoying, and usually, you shouldn’t worry too much about enjoying wine “properly”. Serve and drink wine the way that makes you happy, and that’s it. Usually. When it comes to something like Pingus, one of the world’s great wines, you should probably take things a little more seriously – if for no other reason than the price tag. If you’re going to spend hundreds or thousands of euro on a bottle, you’ll want to get the most out of it. Here are three tips for enjoying a top Pingus wine, Pingus 2007.
Storing, serving and tasting Pingus 2007
Pingus 2007 is a serious wine. With 98 points from the Wine Advocate and 97 from Guía Peñín, this is €1,100 a bottle and yet there’s still not enough to go around. If you get your hands on a bottle of Pingus wine from 2007, or are planning a big purchase, keep these three tips in mind.
If you’ve got a wine cellar or wine fridge, store it there – on its side, to keep the cork in contact with the wine to ensure it doesn’t dry out. If you don’t have facilities like that, go for somewhere cool and dark, with as little fluctuation in temperature is possible. Let it rest without being disturbed. This will cellar for at least another ten years or more.
When it comes time to serve this Pingus wine, you are going to want to show it at its best. To do this, stand it up the day before you’re going to drink it. This will allow all the sediment to fall to the bottom of the bottle, making it easier for you to decant. Decant the wine an hour ahead of time, and you should be good to go.
Wine tasting is a personal experience. Our only instruction here is to savour each drop. Use your eyes, your nose and your mouth in order to get the most of it. You’re drinking one of the world’s best wines, after all!