This month’s superstar is the Pico Cuadro 2009. It is from a part of Castilla, or the land of Castles, which is covered by white clay soil land and could almost be called the desert of northern Europe, if it were not for the Duero River travelling through the land.
Temperatures are extreme, breath-takingly hot in the summer and freezing during the winter. The temperature fluctuates considerably during the day, with differences of up to 15° C between day and night.
Here, the Tempranillo grape has found its natural environment and generations of local families have produced excellent wines from tending to this grape variety with care and pride.
Pico Cuadro is one of these small family-run wineries. Felipe Martín Castrillo, the owner, winemaker and director inherited 14 plots of vineyards from his father and having studied oenology and developed his knowledge and experience in Bordeaux, decided to team up with of Alfonso Muñoz de la Hera, a passionate businessman with great wine expertise.
Despite the vines ranging from 20 to 100 years in age, Pico Cuadro could be considered a “new” winery as it produces a unique style of Tempranillo, Ribera de Duero wine. These pre-philloxera vines were planted in impoverished soil on slopes of moorland, gravel, and clay land where silt was deposited during the quaternary glaciations formed by the river.
This soil composition gives the wine mouthful acidity which balances the strength of the alcohol with the pure fruit aromas. Grapes are carefully selected and the wine is submitted to careful malolactic fermentation before being aged in French oak barrels for 15 to 24 months.
Bright ruby in colour, the wine displays notes of cherry and raspberry which twist towards more complex, spicy, aromas of cinnamon and pink pepper finishing with hints of cigar.
The palate has a lingering texture, and full body, enriched with velvety tannins and an appealing cherry taste. There is a long spicy finish.
This wine can easily be paired with roasted red meats and cheeses.
Tonight we matched it with Italian meatballs with mushrooms and a pea and potato stew. A simple everyday food was beautifully enhanced by this superb wine, turning our simple dinner into a true gastronomic feast!
Superstar Wine of the Month selected by Simona Caprioli. Why not mail us with your suggestion for Wine of the Month at email@example.com?