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View from Peñafiel CastleCigales – perhaps over-shadowed by the acclaim neighbouring Ribera del Duero receives but a tasting of 12 wines demonstrated that ‘by heck-laddie’ they know how to make wine!
Tempranillo dominates the red grape plantings but under the Tinto del País name (I’m trying to find out what actual differences, if any, there are between the two). Garnacha (Grenache) can make up 15% of any red blend. The wine growing area straddles the river Pisuerga, to the north of Vallodolid.
I can’t see anyone being disappointed with any of the wines presented at the tasting. It was rushed, with each wine maker or winery owner allowed just five minutes to ‘sell’ one wine from their range.

Red WineWine Tasting Note: Bodegas Pilcar Viña Concejo, 2004, Cigales, Spain.
Approx £18 a bottle.
Unlike many the vines here are young at just 12 years old. The estate, founded in 1997, from what I can gather was founded on vineyards held by the family for several generations. The name taken from Pilar and Carlos, the grandparents of the current owner. This wine, one of six made by the Bodega, is superb. Opening with a deep colour the nose is refined and intense – delicious, smooth, concentrated with wild fruits, a touch of spicy complexity and a long finish.
Scribblings Rating – 92/100

Red WineWine Tasting Note: Bodega Santa Rufina Alta Gama Gran Reserva, 1998, Cigales, Spain.
Santa Rufina, founded in 1970, is in the town of Cubullas de Santa Marta. Plantings in the 84 hectare vineyard see Tempranillo dominating. There is a smattering of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and for the whites Verdejo and Albillo. The estate is proud that 40% of the vines are at least 100 years old. Very pronounced aroma, wonderful palate too. Lovely savoury edge and a great tannic backbone. 100% Tempranillo. Production 36,000 bottles. Alcohol 13.5%.
Scribblings Rating – 90/100

Red WineWine Tasting Note: Bodega Museum Reserva, Cigales, Spain.
Distinctive in more than just the metallic label. I didn’t catch the vintage and it is not detailed on the tasting sheet. No matter as this is another stunning red. A combination of savoury and red fruit juiciness and inky depths to the palate. There is spice, there are tannins in quite hefty numbers and a persistent length. Old vines around 80 years old and production of 150,000 bottles. Alcohol 14%. 100% Tempranillo.
Scribblings Rating – 90/100


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7 Comments »

  1. Andrew,
    I have a section in my blog called “best pictures” in wich I try to follow the entire year through the wineyard.
    May I ask your kind permission, always preserving the author’s identification and web page, for the “publishing” in this section of my blog, of one of your incredible Cigales’s pictures?
    All the best,
    Joan

  2. Ryan Opaz says:

    From everyone I’ve ever talked to Tinto del Pais is the same as Arongonez, Tempranillo, Tinto de Madrid, Ull de LLebre, and quite a few more. The only one I leave out is Tinto de Toro, which while still Tempranillo has such a different color due to it’s thicker, darker skin, that I feel it must be acknowledged as distinct.

  3. Andrew says:

    Joan – of course, no problem
    Ryan – That is what I thought (apart from the Tinto de Toro) but at least two of the wine makers I spoke to said that Tinto del Pais had developed distinct local differences, hence the name.

  4. I have seen the BOdega Museum Reserva before but havn’t tasted it, I’ll have to pick it up soon. I have always heard that tinto del pais is Tempranillo.

  5. Matthew Johnson says:

    Hi Andrew, spoke to the Uk agents re. Museum Reserva current vintage is 2002, been to this winery it is spectacular!
    All the best
    Matt

  6. Andrew says:

    Matt- how come you beat me to everything! ;-)

  7. [...] in Wine NotesContinuing the round-up of a lively tasting held in Spain of wines from Cigales. [Part One]. Wine Tasting Note: Bodegas Hiljos de Marcos Gómez Salvueros Tinto Roble, 2005, Cigales, [...]

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