Winemaking On The Edge: Dominio de Es


Set on a high plateau some 100 miles north of Madrid, Ribera del Duero has one of Spain’s harshest climates with bitterly cold winters and baking hot summers. These extreme conditions have inspired many a winemaker, from Vega Sicilia founder Don Eloy Lecanda y Chaves to talented newcomers like Bertrand Sourdais.

Sourdais cut his teeth working for top wineries including Mouton-Rothschild, Santa Rita in Chile, and Alvaro Palacios in Priorat before relocating to Soria, Ribera del Duero’s remotest province and the least populated region in all of Spain. He began working with Dominio de Atauta where success quickly followed when Sourdais made the legendary Llanos del Almendro 2002. French wine critic Michel Bettane who gave it first place tied with Vega Sicilia 1994 in a tasting of 31 outstanding French and Spanish wines. Testament to the quality of the region’s wines, Chateau Latour 2000 came in second place. 

Sourdais’ work with Dominio de Atauta inspired him to strike out on his own, leasing 25 small plots in the village. These remarkable old vineyards produce tiny yields of exceptional fruit which Sourdais uses to craft his extremely rare Dominio de Es wines.

Sourdais produces just 500 bottles of his flagship wine, La Diva, with grapes sourced from a very special vineyard with sandy limestone soils at the end of a narrow valley. The vines here are ungrafted since the area’s harsh climates and poor soils prevented phylloxera from reaching it. In the winery the grapes ferment in open wooden tanks for 20 days and the young wine spends up to 19 months maturing in French oak barrels.

Dominio de Es’ second wine, La Mata, is sourced from a 7-hectare pre-phylloxera site which has 14 different owners and distinctive heavy clay soils. Again, due to the low yields and the limited acreage, La Mata is produced in tiny quantities of around 600 bottles per year. Vinification is the same as for La Diva, with the exception of the maturation which lasts 14 months in new barrels.

Dominio de Es also has a third wine which is labelled “Viñedos Viejos de Soria” or “Old Vineyards from Soria” and crafted from what Sourdais regards as “premier cru” vineyards planted on sandy limestone soils. Powerful yet approachable even in youth, this bottling demonstrates the depth and intensity of flavour of the old vines along with an attractive earthy and floral character. Just 5000 bottles are produced each year and the wine ages in used Burgundian barrels for 18 months. 

Oeno currently has very limited quantities of these Dominio de Es wines including the 2018 La Mata and La Diva as well as a small number of magnums and double magnums. For further information, please contact your account manager or the Oeno team at

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