Top 10 Spanish regions to watch18th December, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
Tierra de León
An exciting new DO that sprung up in 2007, Tierra de León can be found 900 metres above sea level to the south of the Cordillera Cantábrica mountain range in the southern part of León.
Boasting a continental climate with hot, dry summers and cold winters, the region is fast gaining international recognition for its indigenous grape, Prieto Picudo, which thrives in Tierra de León’s alluvial soils and has been tipped as Spain’s answer to Pinot Noir.
With just under 1,500ha under vine, Tierra de León’s ever growing band of producers are doing interesting things with the up-and-coming aromatic variety; one of the most promising of Spain’s native grapes.
Meaning “dark pointed” and often partnered with Mencía in blends, Prieto Picudo accounts for half of the region’s red grape plantings.
The grape’s style seems to suit its name, producing wines with an earthy, red fruit character mixed with crisp acidity. Producers in the region to watch include Bodegas Fernandez Llamazares and Bodegas Gordonzello, which makes a number of oaked and unoaked examples in its Peregrino range.