This is one of Spain's finest and most sought after Tempranillos. The previous vintage was 1995, so Fernández isn’t kidding when he says this wine is only made in exceptional vintages.
2003 was a super-ripe year, achieving great concentration in the fruit. The grapes came from a single parcel of the oldest, low yielding vines, in one of the highest vineyards overlooking the Duero River. They were hand picked and fermented using wild yeasts.
Janus is the Roman god with two faces, one looking to the future and the other looking back to the past. And fittingly, as Fernández draws inspiration from both, this wine is made using 2 techniques – one ancient (whole bunch, stone press etc), the other modern (100% destemmed, temperature controlled etc). The two batches are then blended and spend over 30 months in mostly American oak.
Gran Reserva wines only occur in above average vintages and spend a significant amount of time ageing. The length varies from DO to DO, however it's usually at least 5 years, with a minimum of 2 years in oak and 3 years in bottle.
'The 2003 Pesquera Gran Reserva has a liqueur-like bouquet of blackberry and black cherry that jumps from the glass. On the palate it reveals a slightly roasted character (likely from the searing hot vintage) dense fruit, savoury, incipiently complex flavours, and a lengthy finish. Drink it through to 2023.' 93 points, Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, April 2010.
'Inky ruby. Expansive, highly perfumed scents of blackberry and blueberry preserves, cherry-cola and fresh flowers, plus a sexy incense note and a touch of vanilla. Completely stains the palate with dark berry and intense spicy flavors, with smoky minerals adding precision. Blends depth and vivacity with a deft hand and shows none of the exaggerated ripeness of the vintage, finishing with outstanding clarity and lingering sweetness.' 94 Points, Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 16, 2010.