Cien y Pico is four aspiring wine Knights and some bloody old vineyards. This is not the beginning of a joke, but Cien y Pico’s four winemakers are from Spain, Italy, Bulgaria and Australia, namely in order of their terroir, Luis Juminez Garcia, Nicola Tuccci, Elena Golakova Brooks and Zar Brooks, who collectively have made wine in Spain, of course, but also much of the rest of the old and new worlds of wine, namely Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Bulgaria, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, the United States, Canada and even Brazil.
Cien y Pico, which means Hundred & Something, Cien y Pico is an independently owned and operated Winery and Pico was founded as a Spanish Society under with four equal partners and makes wines from [Garnacha] Tintorera in the main but also from Bobal and Syrah. Cien y Pico released its first two wines, both made from our beloved [Garnacha] Tintorera, from the 2007 Vintage in late 2009, being our Doble Pasta Tintorera and our Knights-errant Tintorera.
Cien y Pico is a new wine company with our first vintages being released in early 2010. Although we have worked in the region for many vintages, and in Luis’ case for more than 30 years, Elena and Nicola have been making wines in the region as consultants for five vintages and Zar likes to come along to work vintage for tapas.
2007 vintage, Cien y Pico’s first release was special. In 2007 the centurion plus vineyards surrounding Manchuela turned out to be not only picture perfect but vine perfect as well; a year of “privileged purity of the grape”. To taste and drink the two 2007 Cien y Pico wines was and still is like eating fresh picked fruit off the vine during harvest with just a little winemaking , blended together to form a poster child, sorry Knight-exemplar of what makes these old vines and Manchuela so special.
The Cien y Pico [Hundred & Something] is in Mahora, a little wine village next to Albacete roughly between Madrid and Alicante on the coast, in the heart of the Manchuela D.D.O. (Denominacion De Origen) in La Mancha, the southern Castilian meseta between the Mediterranean and Madrid, the land of Don Quixote. A wide, dry, plateau 1000 metres above sea level, surrounded by mountains that offer just enough protection from the icy winters that turn directly into warm summers.
Here our ancient plantings of [Garnacha] Tintorera not only survive, but thrive in the organically poor but limestone rich, red, sandy Miocene era sedimentary clay between the rocky limestone outcrops that cover the vineyards. If you are ever nearby please don’t hesitate to drop a line and we will be more than happy to show you around the winery and vineyards and taste some wines with you.
We like to think of ourselves as four Winemakers-errant on a quest to save the extraordinary, hundred & something year old Garnacha Tintorera, and also Bobal vines of Mancheula and La Mancha. The aim of Cien Y Pico is to protect and preserve these 19th Century vineyards for future generations. We trust Cien y Pico’s vineyards will produce wines that will allow us to fight with honour in the battle for old vine vineyards of terroir and biodiversity.
All Cien y Pico wines are about the taste of our old vine vineyards, hence our name. All that our vignerons wants to be able to do is just that; that is taste ‘his’ vines in ‘our’ wine. All we want to do as Winemakers-errant is to make great wine, not any old world class wine but the very best young wine from the oldest vines we can find.
The combination of hand tending and vine age ensures balance, purity and a concentrated yield of fruit. These ancient, gnarled, free standing bush vines grown on their own roots with just 300mm of rain a year, yielding tiny but intense crops if deep colour which occurs naturally with the variety [Garnacha] Tintorera. Nothing is forced at Cien y Pico, which is easy to achieve because all that you could want in the wine is delivered from there en-masse - with chivalrous breed. That’s it.