Cien Y Pico was created by four winemakers (Australian Zar Brooks, his Bulgarian wife Elena Golakova Brooks, Spaniard Luis JimÃ©nez GarcÃa and Italian Nicola Tucci), when they came across, and were amazed that people were grubbing up, old Garnacha Tintorera vines in Manchuela in south-eastern Spain. The name means â€˜hundred and somethingâ€™ and refers to the age of the ancient vines from which the wines are made. The old, low-yielding, bush-trained vines give vibrant colour, fruit concentration and flavour to the wines, while the excellence of the winemaking ensures that the natural power of the vines, traditionally used to produce blending wines, is sculpted into something nicely rounded, balanced and ideal for drinking now.
Cien Y Picoâ€™s four vineyards are all located on the Meseta (or â€˜plateauâ€™) of Castilla-La Mancha. With only 300 millimetres of rain per year, the plateau is extremely dry, though the deep-rooted, gnarled old vines thrive in the low-vigour, limestone-rich soils. The mountains surrounding the Meseta offer protection from the icy winters while, in summer, the intense sun at this altitude of nearly 1,000 metres warms and ripens the grapes to perfection.
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 four winemakers modestly refer to the wine as 'fresh-picked fruit off the vine during harvest with just a little winemaking'. 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.
Deep purple in colour 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.
Great with sausage casserole, spicy bean burgers and BBQ.