Prieto Picudo is a rare, dark-skinned variety grown predominantly in and around its homeland of Leon, northern Spain. The variety is used to create both light rosés and deeply pigmented reds, and can be found as single-variety wines or in blends with Tempranillo or Mencia.
Prieto means "dark" in Spanish and most likely refers to the variety’s dark berries. Picudo means "pointed", which most probably references the grape's small, compact bunches that taper at the end. The word could also reference the pine-nut shape of the variety’s berries.
Prieto Picudo is an aromatic grape that gives intense color to wine, more so than most other varieties grown in Castilla y Leon. It is sometimes likened to Tempranillo in this respect. The variety has sufficient tannins, retains good acidity and responds well to oak treatments. Wines are therefore versatile and can be drunk young or be left to age. Rosé wines tend to show aromas of strawberry and raspberry with touches of peach, citrus and flowers. Prieto Picudo reds are much more intense in terms of color (deep purple) and flavor, showing redcurrant, blackberry and licorice flavors. These wines often have mineral notes (a trait common to many Tierra de Léon wines), as well as vanilla and toast where oak has been used.
Prieto Picudo grows best in difficult terrains, hot and dry being its preference as it has a high degree of drought resistance. The variety is permitted in Tierra de Leon DO wines as well as Vino de la Tierra Castilla y Leon wines, a lower classification.
Prieto Picudo is virtually unique to Castilla y Leon but its wines are slowly gaining prominence outside Spain.
Food matches include:
Europe: Fideuá (Spanish noodles with seafood)