“The 2016 Pintas is a field blend from old vines aged for 20 months in 30% new French oak. It comes in at 14% alcohol. When last seen, this was just a tank sample. It's now in the USA. Solid, focused and graceful, this 2016 Pintas adds the concentration of fruit—dry but impressive—that the Pintas Character lacks, relatively speaking. The power is greater, although not by a lot, and the mouthfeel might be more velvety, but it is that concentration of fruit that makes this a lot more special. It doesn't have that tightly wound feel I like to see, but as time goes on, expect this to become even more graceful, showing even more finesse. We'll see in time how high the ceiling is here—but this certainly still has the ability to improve notably in the cellar. You can approach this now, but giving it a few more years will certainly help it acquire more complexity and harmony. It is surprisingly gentle at times, though, even now.”
“The 2013 Pintas, the winery's traditional flagship, is a field blend sourced from 85+ year old vines; aged for 20 months in a 60/40 mixture of new and used French barriques. It comes in at 14.5% alcohol. This shows fine concentration, beautiful structure, intensity on the finish and harmony in its future. The bragging point here is the defined and focused fruit. It just ‘pops’ on the palate in terms of fruit flavor. It is pretty delicious. It should have a nice life, too. I've been expanding drinking windows of late, as the wines gain more track record. It might well do better still. In the meanwhile, it could use a few years of cellaring to show its best. It should hit stride more around 2020 or so, even though it may be approachable much sooner. It does have some questions to answer in the cellar, but at the moment it seems very impressive and likely to answer them.”
“The 2011 Pintas, the original flagship of the winery, is an old vines field blend aged in French oak (only 70% new; 30% second pass) for 20 months. As has become the pattern, this shows more depth than its more elegant new sibling (the Manoella Old Vines also reviewed this issue), but this year it is also a very bright and relatively (it is not Manoella!) elegant vintage in its own right. This is a vintage in which the wine should excel, and does. It is likely to be on the short list as a contender for the best Pintas yet, but it is too tight and unevolved at the moment, a bit hard to read (a comment that is true for many 2011s at the moment). So, let’s be conservative just now and leave that conversation for a few years hence. In the meanwhile, it will soon be bursting with flavor. It is beautifully constructed, with crisp persistence on the finish and the promise of future development to come. It should come into better balance in time and it showed dramatic improvement the next day, still tightly wound after being open for a couple of hours on Day 2, but very focused and beautifully constructed.”
CELLAR SELECTION: “Fermented in open stone lagars, this fine wine has a very rich character. It has a concentrated feel, smoothly ripe and very dense. Black plum fruit and skins are combined with intense wood and acidity to give a solidly based wine.”
“Plush and powerful, showing a balanced ripeness to the lipsmacking flavors of blueberry, kirsch and dark plum, with notes of cherry tart that are pure-tasting and feature a bracing minerality. Pepper and slate notes extend on the finish, with hints of black licorice.Hot Wine.”
Like a lot of wines in this vintage, this opens with a hard edge, crisp and bright, powerful and closed, with an elegant mid-palate. It is also fragrant and flavorful, persistent and lingering on the finish. As it aired out, it dribbled persistent flavor over the palate, while retaining its elegance and intensity.