91 Points, reviewed by Michael Rockich, Appellations Ten
September 30, 2020
Founded by the highly celebrated winemaker Peter Sisseck, Quinta Sardonia is a Fonseca Family winery neighboring the DO (Denominación de Origen) Ribera del Duero on the “Golden Mile” of Spain’s Duero River, upon which some of Spain’s most renowned wineries are situated. One of the main rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, the Duro flows from its source north of Madrid near Duruelo de la Sierra in the Province of Soria, across northern-central Spain and Portugal to its outlet at Porto into the Atlantic.
The Golden Mile, (La Milla de Oro), paralleling the Duero and highway N-122 lies between Peñafiel in the east and Tudela de Duero in the west. Ribera del Duero is one of eleven notable wine regions in the autonomous community of Castile and León (Castilla y Leon).
Spain’s 17 autonomous communities, created in 1978 with political and administrative purposes, all produce wine. The Spanish DOs, over of 70 of them lying within the autonomous communities, help to organize, classify, and determine place of production of the numerous Spanish wines. Both Castilla y Leon and Ribera del Duero are known for producing some of Spain’s highest quality wine.
Peter Sisseck is a winemaker from Denmark who has had outstanding success in Spain where he has worked for over 20 years. The salient points of his philosophy appear to be applying biodynamics to vineyards, promoting healthy and vigorous vineyards treated as naturally as possible, and that technology should be a servant, not an idol. Peter also likes whole cluster fermentation, and believes that variance between vintages is a good thing.
This 2017 Sardón blend has a full cast of characters – 95% Tempranillo, with the balance being comprised by Albillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Syrah. The white Albillo grape brings a slight fragrance while it’s generous glycerol content adds smoothness. Grapes are estate grown and bio-dynamically farmed. The alcohol level isn’t shy at 14.5%.
The wine radiates in beautiful deep impenetrable ruby, with onyx hues equally as obvious. Aromas display berry jam, black currant cassis, roast black plum, charred grilled meat, and a trace of wet stone. Remarkably smooth on the palate, this mid-weight reveals brightness which adds contrast and brings the sweet fruit to the front. Quite fine-grained tannins belie the solid frame. The hallmarks of this wine are its polish and elegance while demonstrating intensity and impact. It’s a really complete piece of work! The importer is Trinchero Family Estates (TFE). About $19.
A sample for review.
(1) Credit Quinta Sardonia and Trinchero Family Estates