Nestled in the secluded Atauta valley, at the eastern terminus of Ribera del Duero, lies a distinctive endeavor initiated by the visionary French winemaker, Bertrand Sourdais. Sourdais’ illustrious career has woven through prestigious domains such as Mouton-Rothschild, Santa Rita in the Chilean realm, and Alvaro Palacios’ sanctified terroir in Priorat. It wasn’t until the 2000s that Sourdais would officially helm the winemaking reins at Dominio de Atauta in Ribera del Duero.
In a meteoric ascent, Sourdais etched his name into vinous legend with the creation of the iconic Llanos del Almendro 2002, a libation that eternally marked Dominio de Atauta on the viticultural atlas. This elixir graced the palate of the discerning French wine critic, Michel Bettane, who bestowed upon it the highest of accolades, placing it shoulder-to-shoulder with Vega Sicilia 1994, while the venerable Chateau Latour 2000 trailed in second place.
Fuelled by the inspiration drawn from Atauta’s pre-phylloxera vineyards, Sourdais embarked on a journey to lease 25 petite parcels within the village, casting himself as the modest vigneron. These diminutive vineyard plots, yielding minuscule quantities of exceptional grapes, serve as the wellspring for his exceedingly rare Dominio de Es wines. In reverence to local oenological customs, Sourdais adorns his Tinto Fino reds with a touch of the indigenous white grape variety, Albillo.
Sourdais’ magnum opus, La Diva, emerges from a singular vineyard perched at the culmination of a narrow valley, its soils kissed by sandy limestone. These ungrafted vines, untouched by phylloxera’s grasp owing to the region’s challenging climes and impoverished soils, yield fruit for a mere 500 bottles annually. Within the winery’s confines, these grapes embark on a 20-day sojourn within open wooden fermenting tanks, followed by an intimate 19-month dalliance in French oak barrels.
Dominio de Es’ second creation, La Mata, draws its essence from a 7-hectare pre-phylloxera sanctuary, owned by 14 distinct custodians, its soils endowed with distinctive clay-rich textures. Once again, restricted yields and modest acreage bestow upon La Mata a production quantity of approximately 600 bottles per annum. Vinification echoes the process employed for La Diva, save for a maturation period that extends for 14 months within virgin barrels.
The trilogy is completed by Dominio de Es’ third opus, christened “Viñedos Viejos de Soria” or “Old Vineyards from Soria,” a testament to the vineyards that Sourdais reveres as “premier cru.” Planted in sandy limestone soils, these vines proffer a robust yet approachable elixir, even in their youth. Emanating an alluring earthy and floral character, this bottling epitomizes the depth and intensity inherent to aged vines. A mere 5000 bottles grace the world’s stage each year, nurtured within seasoned Burgundian barrels for 18 months.
Dominio de Ese wines are imported into Canada by Domaine Selections. Contact us today!