The first time I tasted wine made from Tempranillo, the reigning indigenous red grape of Spain, was on a Sunday afternoon many years ago in Jakarta, where I was living at the time.
I was hanging out with my wine friends, exchanging bottles which most of us had hand carried into Indonesia for this very purpose; to sit around on a Sunday afternoon sharing bottles and talking wine.
We always tasted blind so that only the person who brought the bottle knew the wine’s origin, vintage and grape. Each time we approached a new glass our senses would take over as we carefully swirled and sniffed followed by an enthusiastic but thoughtful sip.
The wine in my hand was deep purple and with the slightest swirl, a heady mix of cherry, incense, spice, and lavender wafted out of the glass. The first sip was exquisite but it did not taste familiar. It was intense and powerful with luxuriously silky tannin and just enough acidity to make my mouth salivate and lean in for another sip.
I sat there transfixed and bewitched.
I asked, “What is this beautiful grape which I don’t recognise?”
The bearer of the bottle replied, ‘But my dear, it is Tempranillo.”
It had a beginning, a middle and an end which blended together in seamless perfection.
Shortly after, I was told that I was drinking a $600 bottle of wine, called Dominio de Pingus from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain.
A very lucky girl indeed, I was often on the receiving end of these rare and highly prized bottles, which were so very generously shared by Indonesian wine collectors.
Now, I don’t expect your first sip of Tempranillo to be quite as extravagant, which is why I made this short video for you.
It is said that Spain has a bottle for every wine drinker, whether it be a special occasion or a mid-week tipple and when it comes to value for money, wines made from Tempranillo offer exceptional quality at a very affordable price.
Please leave a comment below the video. I would love to know what your first taste of Tempranillo was like and if you have been drinking it ever since?
About Dominio de Pingus
- Grape: Tempranillo
- First Vintage: 1995
- Region: Ribera del Duero
- Owner/winemaker: Peter Sisseck, originally from Denmark
- Average of vines: 65 years
- Bio-dynamically farmed since 200 and bottled without fining or filtration
- Suitable for vegans