Pintia 2016 has a very elegant, fresh and silky balance, but at the same time, it is precise. Saturated ruby. Expansive cherry, black raspberry, potpourri and exotic spice aromas are complemented by subtle licorice and woodsmoke flourishes. Vibrant and sharply focused in the mouth, with a spine of juicy acidity adding focus to palate-staining black and blue fruit liqueur, violet pastille, mocha and spicecake flavors. The floral quality resonates emphatically on the clinging finish, which features lingering cherry and smoky mineral notes. There’s noteworthy elegance here, a trait that’s not exactly common for Toro.
Pintia lies on the banks of the Douro River, within the D.O. of Toro. The extremely cold winters and hot summers influence its complex soils, which are characterized by a large number of pebbles.
Therefore, it is paramount to find the optimal harvest time, so as not to lose the freshness of the aromas or the acidity of the wine.
The harvest took place between 13 September and 7 October (one of the longest in our history), due to the low temperatures and rains in September and the growth cycle of the vineyard. These conditions for the 2016 vintage helped push for a bit more extraction later on in the fermentation stage.
The percentage of new oak barrels used for ageing was 80 %, American oak increasing 5 % and reaching 25 %, providing greater density in the wine. 75 % French oak was used for this ageing stage.
Robert Parker 95 Points
James Suckling 94 Points
About Vega Sicilia
The foundations of Vega Sicilia’s traditions may be found as far back as 1859, when Don Eloy Lecanda Chaves was gifted an estate by his wealthy father. The origins of the Vega Sicilia winery are officially regarded as 1864, which was when Don Eloy Lecanda Chaves returned from his travels in Bordeaux with vine cuttings, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Carmenere – all of which were found in Bordeaux at that time – and, curiously, some Pinot Noir. Regardless of how Pinot Noir arrived, the cuttings were duly propagated and planted at Vega Sicilia, although the Carmenere and Pinot Noir are no longer found in the Vega Sicilia vineyards.
Vega Sicilia’s Tempranillo is trained in gobelet fashion, whereas the French varieties are trained in a Guyot system. Green harvesting is employed ruthlessly in order to control yields, and the harvest itself is meticulous. In the winery, such a massive wine will withstand many years in wood and Unico sees a complicated series of rackings from huge barrels to new oak, to used American oak, back to new oak again, and on it goes. Whatever these phases are called, Unico certainly receives very prolonged barrel ageing, with the 1970 seeing over sixteen years! And yet these are not washed out, stretched, overly oaky wines when mature, testimony to the quality of the raw materials on which they are based.
When Vega Sicilia became part of the Álvarez family’s life in 1982, the foundations were laid for TEMPOS Vega Sicilia. It has constantly and steadily grown since then, involving the introduction of wines produced in different wine-making areas, reaching out to new consumers around the world and laying the foundations for a promising and highly successful future.