Admittedly the name’s a bit of a mouthful but what Cien y Pico means is a hundred and something and that relates to the age of the vines this gorgeous red is made from.
Four aspiring wine Knights and some bloody old vineyards,” is how Zar Brooks describes Cien y Pico. This exciting producer is based in Manchuela, a small region in south-eastern Spain. The project is the personal quest of four winemakers to preserve the 19th century vineyards of the area. When the team first visited the region and tasted the local wines they agreed that these vineyards needed to be and Cien y Pico was born.
Cien y Pico have four vineyards on the Meseta (or ‘plateau’) of Castilla-La Mancha. This plateau is extremely dry and the deep-rooted old vines thrive in the low vigour soils. In summer, the intense sun and cool nights at this altitude of nearly 1000 metres ripen the grapes to perfection. The old bush-trained vines give excellent concentration and flavour to the wines, but yields are very low, around three tonnes per hectare. Garnacha Tintorera is the Spanish name for the Alicante Bouschet variety and is one of only a few varieties that has red juice.
The wine is made using the ‘doble pasta’ method – crushed grapes are fermented over additional grape skins and pulp, to obtain a high extract, colour and tannin. 20% of this wine is aged in stainless steel tanks, with 80% aged in second and third used oak.
A gorgeous colour of deep purple with violet tints, this wine has intense aromas of blueberries, damsons and cherries. The palate is intense and flavourful, supported by tannins that are firm but go almost unnoticed given their ripeness and integration. The powerful fruit character reverberates on the finish. Seriously good wine this
Would go beautifully with butterflied leg of lamb on the barbecue.