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November 05, 2014

Pingus PSI 2012, 92+ Points

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Pingus PSI is nothing short of a remarkable project by Peter Sisseck, as remarkable as Pingus’ rise as the leading wine in Spain. The 2012 is their newest vintage and the best yet, receiving 92+ points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, surpassing the 92 scoring 2010. 2012 was very dry and hot in Ribera del Duero, this translated to smaller berries being harvested with great concentration and lots of ripe, round tannin. Peter Sisseck’s legendary Pingus received a potential 100 points in 2012, thus one of the greatest ever vintages, rivalling the legendary 100 point scoring 2004. However, while quality is very high, production was reduced to 12,500 cases, meaning allocations will be stretched.

Contextually, we consider any wine that has a Price Over Points ratio (POP) of 20 or less represent immense value vs. quality. Pingus PSI 2012 has a POP Ratio of 16.4, an incredible offering at £22.96 including duty and VAT for a 92+ wine from one of the world leading winemakers. As such we believe it is one of the best value for money purchases available in the fine wine market. However, it is also an incredible Utopian project: to elaborate the history of Peter Sisseck and Pingus is to fully understand this extraordinary mission.

PSI Pingus Ψ
PSI Pingus is named after the 23rd letter of the Greek alphabet (Ψ). In 2007, a very difficult vintage in the Ribera Del Duero, Peter lost most of the grapes for his second wine Flor de Pingus due to a hailstorm and had to purchase in high quality grapes. The silver lining was the realisation that the area surrounding his Pingus vineyards had the potential to produce incredibly high quality grapes. Peter has immersed himself in the region and long felt that the old vineyards had extraordinary potential, but the financing and farming was poor. Indeed traditionally, farmers were paid by tonnage, thus focusing on the quantity of grapes and not the quality, with little incentive to cut yields to achieve the former. Moreover, to achieve profit they had been overusing chemicals in the region reducing microbial life.

Peter set to change this but realised the families would not be willing to sell their legacies. Instead he started to change the economic incentives whilst appealing to the growers to focus on the land. The project began in 2006 and after years of work, a select group of farmers have turned their plots around, reducing yields and letting the exceptional terroir and climate do the work, resulting in healthy, balanced and concentrated fruit. Pingus PSI is aged in French barriques and oak foudres for 18 months and the blend in 2012 is 95% Tempranillo and 5% Garnacha, the wine is truly stunning.

Pingus Psi 2012, 12×75 - £205 IB or £275.52 including duty and VAT
Let’s start with the 2012 PSI, from an extremely dry vintage, produced with Tempranillo grapes with 5% Garnacha (a percentage that will be increased in the forthcoming vintages) that fermented in cement vats and aged for 18 months in a combination of used French barriques, oak foudres and cement vats. 150,000 bottles were produced. It was bottled in May 2014 and it feels closed and inaccessible, a bit stubborn or perhaps suffering from the recent bottling. It takes a long time to open up, finally revealing a core of sweet red fruit and notes of flowers, perfectly integrated oak. The palate is medium-bodied, delicious, more in line with the 2010s than with 2011s, sleek and pure, very balanced. It feels like a cool vintage, but it was not. A real triumph. Drink: 2014 – 2017

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