During the 2000s, Frenchman Bertrand Sourdais was technical director at Dominio de Atauta, the winery that discovered the remote and extraordinary landscape filled with very old vines that laid hidden in the east end of Ribera del Duero, within the province of Soria. He has now embarked on two projects within this region.
His most personal endeavour is Dominio de Es, where he has been working as a vigneron producing small yields since the 2011 vintage. Sourdais keeps four plots planted with old vines, some of them located in pagos such as Valdegatiles, Llanos del Almendro or La Mala, single vineyard names that Dominio de Atauta made famous on its labels.
Vineyards are biodynamic and vinifications are gentle and slow, disregarding the somewhat tannic character that Sourdais' wines used to display a few years ago. It is not unusual that the wines have up to 10% Albillo – these white vines were traditionally planted in between red varieties in the old Ribera del Duero plots.
These wines generally benefit from extra time in the bottle to fully develop. Production of Dominio de Es Viñas Viejas de Soria -a dark, mineral, powerful red- barely reaches 1,100 bottles. Dominio de Es La Diva produces even less. The 2012 vintage is the first and comes from the Valdegatiles pago where it produces an evocative wine with marked violet notes in its youth, fine minerality and a captivating personality. It retails at over €200.
Bertrand Sourdais also owns Domaine de Pallus in his native Chinon (France) and has embarked on a second project in Ribera del Duero called Bodegas Antídoto.