Producer: Alejandro Fernández
Pesquera wines are very much the fruit of one man – Alejandro Fernandez. Brought up and working in wine all his life, he struck out on his own in 1972, selecting the best grapes from his connections in Ribera del Duero and using his in-depth knowledge of the region.
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Ribera del Duero had ticked along, a wide plateau of free-draining soils where over centuries Tempranillo had ‘morphed’ into Tinto Fino – basically the same variety but with smaller, darker grapes on the bunch. The wines were rustic in the most, but Alejandro, with an eye of the success of Vega Sicilia just down the road, had the courage to invest in raising the quality: he got in at the beginning. Within ten years his wines had caught the eye of American critic Robert Parker Jnr, who cemented their reputation by proclaiming Pesquera, “the Petrus of Spain!'
He bought the first part of the Pesquera vineyard in 1989 which has since grown into a 200 hectare estate that faces south on slopes above the river Duero. The sand and gravel soils are poor and well-drained over a limestone and clay subsoil, and the vines trained low on espalier trellises to maximise the heat from the ground. The wines have class and breeding; there is power coupled with elegance, and that all important ability to age that Parker spotted years ago. Alejandro and his family have expanded, re-invigorating another Ribera del Duero bodega, Condado de Haza, to make a chunkier, complimentary style as well as investing in other regions in Spain. The Tinto Pesquera bodega along with Condado de Haza, El Vinculo and Dehesa La Granja, together form the Grupo Pesquera.