Grandes vinos y agrestes suelos by José Luis Murcia

"El Cien y Pico 2009 es un canto a la variedad con tonos de frutillos del bosque, matorral mediterráneo, caramelo de café con leche, pimienta negra y cáscara de naranja. En boca es tan contundente como elegante con un tono vegetal a resina de pino que le da frescura, tostados y torrefactos. Su precio medio es de 7 euros. En ambos se nota la mano de Luis Jiménez, presidente de la Asociación de Enólogos de Castilla-La Mancha." read more here...

Los mejores bobales de Manchuela by José Luis Murcia

"Cien y Pico, entre cuyos socios se encuentran el enólogo local Luis Jiménez y el italiano Nicola Tucci, presentan su Cien y Pico Winemaker´s-Gallant 2011, con tonos balsámicos, turba, fruta roja muy madura y pimienta rosa. En boca es amplio, largo y con tonos ligeramente dulces. Su precio, 15 euros. Pero también es muy interesante su Cien y Pico En Vaso 2011, un vino potente, de color intensísimo y notas de fruta roja en sazón, chocolate, menta y tabaco de hebra. En boca destacan sus taninos maduros y dulces. Su precio, alrededor de ocho euros." read more here...

‘En Vaso’ Bobal 2011 - 92 Points

Jamie Goode has reviewed our ‘En Vaso’ Bobal 2011 at 92 points on
"Spain has some brilliant old vineyards. When they get into the hands of the right people, good things happen. This is a Bobal, a grape variety that has lived in the shadows but which is attracting more attention. It’s a big, rich wine, but it isn’t over-oaked and it still has freshness.

Cien y Pico ‘En Vaso’ Bobal 2011 Manchuela, Spain
Made from ancient Bobal vines, dry grown on limestone soils, this is a collaboration between Elena Golakova, Luis Jimenez, Nicola Tucci and Zar Brooks. Very rich, intense, sweet nose is almost Port-like, yet it still remains fresh, with blackcurrant, blackberry, spice and a hint of tar. Super-concentrated palate is powerful, rich and tannic with liquorice, black fruits, meat, spice and tar. Essence of old vine Bobal: Australia meets Spain. 92/100"

Philip White 94++ Points

Cien y Pico, Doble Pasta Tintorera 2009 

Elena Golokova and Zar Brooks, with some crazy compadres, Luis Ximénez and Nicola Tucci are responsible for this utterly delightful red.  It’s made in La Mancha, Spain, on a high hot-and-cold plateau from ancient Garnacha Tintorera bush vines.  It’s wildly scented, after the seductive Bal à Versailles perfume Jean Deprez launched in 1962: a scent with which long-legged damsels should douse themselves once they’ve popped on their mannish tux and Zorro boots and set that cigarillo afire.  It has a disarming bittersweet flavour which is smoothly assimilated, but extremely complex, like Valrhona cooking chocolate, green coffee beans, tannic black tea, kalamata olives, pickled morello cherries and dark plum conserve.  In spite of all those flavour triggers, the palate’s strapping and lithe in the bullwhip fashion; the aftertaste lip-smacking and more-ish.  It’s very very sexy wine. Go get! $30; 13.5% alcohol; screw cap; 94++ points 

Philip White In Daily Adelaide Australia 

Richard Hemming 16.5+

Cien y Pico Doble Pasta 2009 16.5+

Cordial fruits on the nose, bit of meaty character. Beefy and grippy on the palate, with a really long and intense core fruit. Should age well. (RH) 14%. 16.5+ Drink 2011-2018

Richard Hemming, 

Stephen Tanzer 90 Points

Cien y Pico, Doble Pasta Garnacha Tintorera Manchuela 


From vines reportedly over a century old and planted at an altitude of over 1,000 meters. Glass-staining ruby. Deep, smoky aromas of cherry pit, singed plum, violet and licorice. Sweet, penetrating dark berry flavors stain the palate, given bite by notes of black pepper and bitter chocolate. Smoothes out with air and finishes with impressive cut, length and lingering smokiness. This was made (in part) by a group of young Australian winemakers based in the McLaren Vale. 90 Points.

Stephen Tanzer International Wine Cellar 

Gourmet Traveller WINE 92 points

Cien Y Pico Tintorera Doble Pasta 2007

Aromas of dark sweet earth and some sweet spice, a little pepper, really dark and juicy. The palate is immensely flavoursome with dense and chewy tannins and rich, dark chocolate and plum flavours. Long sheets of tannin bring dark minerals to the finish. 92 points.

Gourmet Traveller WINE - 200 European Wines for $50 and Under

Best Imported Red - Good Wine Guide 2011

Cien Y Pico, Doble Pasta 2007 

Grown on an elevated plateau (1000 metres) and made from garnacha tintorera, these older bush vines have delivered dark, beguiling, peppery fruits on the nose - really exotic, quite modern and erathy too. There’s a black minerally side to the palate, with deep, sweeping tannins, plenty of spiced dark fruits and a waft of baking spices to close. Terrific, fleshy red. 92 points 

Nick Stock Sydney Morning Herald & The Age 

Jancics Robinson 17/20

Cien y Pico, Doble Pasta 2007 Manchuela

Made from Garnacha Tintorera (aka the teinturier grape Alicante Bouschet, a cross between Petit Bouschet and Grenache, so not a true Grenache). Vines over 100 years old. 19 months in 20% new French oak. Screwcap. pH 3.65, TA 5.3 g/l, VA 0.682 g/l, RS 2.9 g/l.

Very dark, almost blackish purple. Molten nose, chocolatey, seductive, blackberry liqueur. Top notes of violets. Very dense and rich, with opulent fruit but somehow not sweet. Deep mulberry fruit laced with pure cocoa and dark peppery spices. A touch of wild and slightly bitter black olive on the finish. Long and lingering. (TC) 14%. 17/20 Drink 2010-2014

Jancis Robinson 'Day of Grenache'

Cien y Pico, Knights-Errant 2007 Manchuela

From a vineyard in Mahora, dry-grown, 100+-year-old centurion bush vines. This and the Doble Pasta are the result of a collaboration between Elena Golakova Brooks (Bulgarian winemaker), Zar Brooks (crazy Australian winemaker), Luis Jimenez (Spanish winemaker) and Nicola Tucci (Italian winemaker). Zar Brooks tells me that one evening over dinner they got talking about some very old Garnacha vineyards in Manchuela that were about to be pulled up. The got 'spectacularly drunk' and the next morning Luis asked, 'So. do you want to come and meet the growers that you have bought the grapes from?' A bit of a shock. This is the first vintage. 19 months in 85% new French oak. pH 3.67, TA 5.8 g/l, VA 0.72 g/l, RS 3.2 g/l.

Under screwcap. Even darker (is that possible?) than the Doble Pasta. Smells of roses and liquorice and blueberry pie. Incense. Very exotic. Powerfully muscular lustrous tannins. Aniseed and sweet black cherry, deep throated, layered and inky. A silver blade of acidity giving a sharp edge and surprising freshness, lengthening the tireless finish. (TC) 14.2%. 17+/20 Drink 2012-2019

Jancis Robinson 

Chris Shanahan

Cien Y Pico, Doble Pasta Tintorera 2007 & Cien Y Pico, Knights-Errant Tintorera 2007

We’re seeing lots of Spanish wine in Australia – mainly reds made from tempranillo and garnacha (grenache), dry white albarino, various bubblies and sherry, particularly the lighter fino styles. Then there are these two powerful, distinctive reds, made by Australian winemaker Elena Brooks. Made from the garnacha tintorera grape (aka alicante), they’re as black as tarmac and ox strong – the product of very old bush vines grown in Spain’s baking hot, eastern highland Manchuela region. Doble Pasta focuses more on high-toned, in-your-face fruit, laced with soft tannins. Knights-Errant is even more powerful and savoury with distinct oaky notes. 20th June 2010

Philip White 92 +++ points

Eduardo Rivera Irizarri rolled cigars for Fidel Castro, a scary job as the dumb CIA tried constantly to sabotage the cigars with explosives. If only they’d waited: cigars eventually sent Fidel to the rest home anyway. Fidel’s secretary, Celia Sanchez, and Zino Davidoff, invented the brand Cohiba to wrap about Eduardo’s cigars. Conspiradors Zar Brooks, Elena Golokova, Nicola Tuccia and Luis Juminez Garcia produces this explosive black wine from hundred-and-something-year-old Alicante bouschet bush vines in La Mancha. They wrapped the bottle in the Cohiba package and sell it here to show Rockford a thing or two about Alicante bouschet. Scary. 92 +++ points

Philip White The Independant 

Double Gold - International Wine Challenge 2010

Cien Y Pico Doble Pasta 2007 and Knights-Errant 2007

Both wines were two of only seven gold medals to Spanish red wines [& the only two not awarded to wines of Rioja or Ribera Del Duero]. Overall there were over 9000 entries in the International Wine Challenge [IWC] with 692 reds from Spain [1% wining Gold] and the trophy winners to be announced on the 30th of June at a fancy pants function at Lords Cricket Ground.

In fact one our Cien y Pico’s Winemakers-errant the bespectacled Nicola Tucci thought he was seeing Doble when he looked up the results at the London International Wine Trade fair. Our passionate Italian Winemaker-errant’s week only got better when his beloved Internationale of Milan won the European Championships! That said all four Winemaker-errant at Cien y Pico Elena, Luis, Nico and the typist are of one voice in giving all credit to the Old Vines of Manchuela.

International Wine Challenge notes;

Produced by: Cien Y Pico From: Castilla La Mancha O Manchuela, SpainName; Doble Pasta

Made with: Garnacha Tintorera. The Wine Challenge Judges said of the wine;

“Sweetly blackberry, some vanilla spice - herbal. North Rhone quality to first tasks. A powerful intense blockbuster style. Long, concentrated and firm. Gold”

Produced by: Cien Y Pico From: Castilla La Mancha O Manchuela, SpainName; Knight’s-errant

Made with: Garnacha Tintorera The Wine Challenge Judges said of the wine;

“Inky deep colour - Syrah like, narrow and intensely powerful bite with compact firm tannins. Lots of blackberry, shiny new oak and vanilla concentrated. Intense clay with quite refined oak. Gold.” 

Gary Walsh - 93 points

Bright and bursting full of cherry sauce, red fruits, potpourri, liquorice and earth. It’s ruggedly, but handsomely tannic, with a little black tea bitterness but has genuine quality and drinkability stamped all over it. Length is excellent, as is the satisfaction. Lovely wine. Tasted it first and ended up smashing though it later - a good sign. Drink : 2010 - 2017 93 points.

Gary Walsh The Wine Front

Paying more than lip service to value for money

 Cien Y Pico Tintorera Doble Pasta 2007

When choosing quality wines, don't rely on the price to be your guide.

Two things wine lovers ask of a wine: first, is it any good? Then, what does it cost? But it gets harder when this is followed by, is it good value for money?

There are high-quality wines that sell for, let's say, $50, that represent great value for money. Then there are wines costing $10 a bottle that don't. "Cheap" and "value" are often confused and are not synonymous, although it's great when they converge.

Not all high-priced wines are necessarily worth the money, although taste and high price are obviously in the nose, mouth and pocket of the beholder.

Take, for example, Penfolds Grange: do I think the current release is worth $550+? Absolutely not, even though I accorded the last vintage tasted blind - the '04 - 94(95)/100.

But the value of Grange goes way beyond normal modes, Grange has history, lineage and an almost, insatiable international "collector" demand that renders its pricing almost irrelevant. Would I buy it, even if I could afford it? No: I'd sooner buy a dozen and a half of the Cien Y Pico Tintorera Doble Pasta 2007.

Tintorera, or Tintorera Garnacha, is a red-fleshed and red-skinned black grape: a so-called teinturier. It is, in fact, a cross of Garnacha (grenache) and petit bouschet.

The wine is produced by Aussie couple Zar and Elena Brooks, along with a business partner from each, Spain and Italy. Now for the tricky part. They've also made a sister (or brother) wine called Knights-Errant. It is considerably more pricey, at $58, by virtue of the fact it was a separate block selection and matured in expensive oak barrels: so there is logic to its elevated price. I also rated it 94(95)/100 also and would still say it delivers at that price. But for obvious reasons (hopefully) I believe its sibling is better value.

Of course, adding to the notion of value is the heinous wine tax Australian wine lovers must pay. Australia is the most highly taxed significant wine producer nation on earth. But that's a discussion for another day.

Tim White Wine - Australian Financial Review