The 2010 Reserva contains 20% Cabernet Sauvignon from selected plots from their slope vineyards planted 25 years ago on chalk-rich soils that fermented with indigenous yeasts. 2010 was a near-perfect growing season, producing wines that are both powerful and fresh and that should have a long life in bottle. The nose is fragrant and elegant, mixing notes of red and black fruit with a sense of extreme harmony. Very showy. As much as itâ€™s elegant it also feels powerful and serious, quite Ribera, with good typicity. The palate is medium to full-bodied, with polished tannins, and is supple and tasty and with great acidity and length. A balanced, elegant vintage, not showy or voluptuous, but more serious and developing complexity. 14,330 bottles were produced. Sisseck likes to make a comparison between 1995 and 1996 and 2009 and 2010, 2010 being similar to 1996. I see a bright future for this 2010. A fine and elegant Ribera. Bravo! At this quality level this represents very good value. Drink 2014-2022.
Hacienda Monasterio is the day job of Peter â€˜Pingusâ€™ Sisseck. He arrived in 1990 after he finished working with his uncle Peter Vinding-Diers in Bordeaux and he had a little time before going to California to work for Ridge. So he was there to fill a few months. The vineyards for Hacienda Monasterio had been recently planted, but only the American rootstocks had been done, so he managed to get some plant material from Vega Sicilia and from another old vineyard in Roa to plant. He had no idea heâ€™d stay, but the finca (estate) was sold to some investors in December and in April they started building the winery. During the first three years they had to buy grapes while their plants matured. In 1993 and 1994 he started thinking of his own project Pingus, at around the same time when Hacienda Monasterio started using its own grapes for their wines. 1995 was the first vintage produced 100% with their own grapes â€“ a blend that was quite similar to what they had in Vega Sicilia. After some time he realized Merlot does not really work there (it works perhaps one year in ten, they did a varietal wine, Kempis in 1999 that is fantastic) and they are in the process of replacing it. Sisseck feels the vineyard finally came of age at around 2007-2008 when the wines has seen great improvement. Heâ€™s seen the vineyard grow and mature and seen the different phases: the four years, the 12, and when the plants are 20 years. They have recently bought more land that was touching the original vineyards, because Hacienda Monasterio is a single-vineyard wine and they want to keep that way.
This big red offers both polish and density, with muscular, well-integrated tannins supporting the rich texture. The flavors are more harmonious than expressive, with plum, licorice, tar, mineral and coffee notes. Impressive structure. Best from 2018 through 2030. 112 cases imported.