I tasted the 2013 Pingus one week before the wine was to be bottled, but one never knows. I tasted the 2012 under the same circumstances last year, and after my tasting, Peter Sisseck decided the wine needed some more time, so the Ã©levage was extended and the bottling delayed. I was told this should be very close to the bottled version. The nose is aromatic, expressive and open, quite perfumed and subtle, with no traces of oak (the wine now ages in used barriques); even the spices are very much in the background. The Pingus vineyards behaved quite well in a difficult vintage, as great vineyards are a lot more homogeneous, so the vines are very balanced: the two vineyards used for Pingus, San Cristobal and Barroso, were planted in 1929 with two different massale selections. The palate is also approachable and gentle, with very good acidity and very fine tannins, elegance and character. I think there will be very few (or none!) wines in Ribera in 2013 like this Pingus. Well done! Three weeks later, I received an email letting me know that the wine had been bottled, so I proceeded to taste the bottle version, which showed what the sample promised. 2013 will be a vintage, that in Ribera del Duero, will show the differences of the work in the vineyards and what they do at Pingus clearly paid off. Even after the recent operation, the wine is harmonious and feels very balanced; there is no dizziness and it keeps the poise. A real triumph for the vintage. 6,600 bottles were filled at the end of July 2015.
I visited Pingus (its two main vineyards, Barroso and San Cristobal) and tasted some lots of the extremely promising 2014 form barrel. I want to refrain myself from scoring such young wines as it should have some 16-20 more months in barrel, but it looks like a fantastic vintage that owner and winemaker Peter Sisseck compares to 1995, and thinks needs a long Ã©levage. The key to 2014 was if you could harvest early, because there was rain later on. They had a problem of hail in the vineyards and thought they had lost the harvest, but they were able to recover from it and harvested some 15 barrels, when a normal year sees some 22. Anyway, I tasted 2012 in bottle; 2013 just before bottling (and a few weeks later a bottled sample); and a bottle of the first vintage, 1995, a wine that still feels young and has plenty of power, with developed aromas of tapenade and violets. 2012 represents the best wine Peter Sisseck has ever made (so far). Bravo!