Robert Parker 92P
The 2010 QS is Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon, with small percentages of other French grapes, fermented and aged in oak barrels for 18 months. Because of the way it’s produced, it has a light reductive character and benefits from time in the glass. It starts showing aromatics from Cabernet after about ten minutes, while keeping the Ribera del Duero personality, with herbal tones like the freshness of cassis. It is lush, dense, ripe and round, powerful, with the slightly drying, chalky minerality sticking to your teeth with good balance and enough acidity. Drink now-2020.
Terras Gauda from Rias Baixas, who also own Pittacum in Bierzo, acquired a majority stake (75%) in Quinta Sardonia at the end of 2010. Quinta Sardonia in Sardon de Duero is just outside the limits of the Ribera del Duero appellation. The project is based on theirown grapes. Peter Sisseck of Pingus fame had been linked to the name since the start in the year 2000, but he left the project with the change of ownership. However, Frenchman Jerome Bougnaud continues being a consultant, as he’s been there in charge of the vineyards and the wines since the early days. Bougnaud had worked with Bertrand Sourdais at Nenin in Pomerol. Sourdais arrived in Ribera del Duero through Ricardo Perez Palacios and Bougnaud followed and got in contact with Sisseck through Alvaro Palacios. He arrived in Spain in 2000, and in 2001 he started working for Hacienda Monasterio and Pingus, joining the Quinta Sardonia project in 2002. In 2005, he also started working at El Regajal in Aranjuez (Madrid), owned by Daniel Garcia Pita, who was one of the owners of Quinta Sardonia. Quinta Sardonia’s vineyards are outside Ribera del Duero by two kilometers, and it’s the same slope as Hacienda Monasterio, just 20 kilometers west. All the vineyards are on the slopes, 22 hectares of them, with alluvial soils from the river, ranging from 760 to 830 meters altitude. They have 18 different soils – and they use 18 different vats – but all of them are of chalk origin, and seven different grape varieties. I noticed a big change in the wines from 2011 and Bougnaud tells me there are even bigger changes in 2012 and 2013. I look forward to tasting them, as I was greatly impressed by what I saw from 2011.