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Cien y Pico

Cien y Pico is an exciting new producer based in Manchuela, a small region in south-eastern Spain. The two wines are made predominantly from Garnacha Tintorera, along with a little Bobal and Syrah and are closed with screwcap. The debut 2007 vintage wines were both awarded Gold Medals at their first outing by the 2010 International Wine Challenge. The name ?Cien y Pico? means ?hundred and something? and refers to the age of the ancient Garnacha Tintorera and Bobal vines from which the wines are made. Julia Harding MW writes that .."The four winemakers behind this project, Australian Zar Brooks, his Bulgarian wife Elena Golakova Brooks (pictured below), Spaniard Luis Juminez Garc?a and Italian Nicola Tucci describe themselves on their website as 'four aspiring wine knights and some bloody old vineyards', modelling themselves on Don Quixote and his fellow travellers, and the other wine they make from this variety - even more intense and expressive but equally delicious - is called Knights Errant. They also make two terrific wines from equally old Bobal bushvines. "Cien y Pico comprises four vineyards, all located on the Meseta (or ?plateau?) of Castilla-La Mancha. With only 300mm of rain per year, the plateau is extremely dry, though the deep rooted, gnarled old bush-trained vines thrive in the low vigour yet limestone rich soils. The mountains surrounding the Meseta offer protection from the icy winters while, in summer, the intense sun at this altitude of nearly 1,000m warms and ripens the grapes to perfection.