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February 07, 2019
Peter Sisseck - A Ribera del Duero Champion
In 1993, when Danish winemaker Peter Sisseck first arrived in Ribera del Duero - the heart of Spain’s Tempranillo production two hours north of Madrid - he saw potential for quality in a land of quantity.
With hot, dry Mediterranean summers and unpredictable long, hard winters, Ribera del Duero is an unexpecting competitor to the nearby Rioja. These extremes in climate, however, have proven to be the perfect storm for vast grape production, and local growers had traditionally been paid by the ton for their harvests.
Trained in winemaking in Bordeaux and inspired by his garagiste friends in France, Sisseck saw an opportunity in Ribera del Duero to push old-vine Tempranillo to its upper limits. Sisseck found a group of old vines and names the project Pingus, a tribute to his childhood nickname. When a lunchtime tasting with Robert Parker brought an early Pingus vintage of PSI a 96-100 point score, the world paid notice, not only to Sissick, but to the burgeoning Ribera del Duero. Biodynamic since 2001, Pingus is the embodiment of Sissick’s old-word training and utopian vision for the region.
The fresh and fruit-forward 2016 PSI continues to demonstrate Tempranillo’s capacity for excellence. 2016 is a fresh vintage, and the wine reflects it with precision and elegance on the palate. According to Sisseck, 2016 is the PSI he always dreamt about.