Vega Sicilia & Bodegas Benjamin de Rothschild, ‘Macán Clásico’ 2018
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Region: Rioja, Spain
Varietal: 100% Tempranillo
Tasting notes: This dark garnet-colored wine has a nose of black currant, raspberry and milk chocolate. Deep fruit flavors of cassis and dark plums fill the mouth, joined by notes of cocoa powder, tobacco leaf and espresso bean. Fleecy tannins dissipate into a lingering, fruit-filled finish. Drink now
Producer: It was at Vega Sicilia in Ribera del Duero, two hours from Madrid, that Tempranillo proved its potential for greatness. When the estate's original founder, Don Eloy Lecanda Chaves returned from France with cuttings of Bordeaux varietals, he planted them alongside the indigenous variety, then known simply as Tinto del Pais, or “Country Red”, but today known as Tinto Fino or Tempranillo. Surprisingly, it was the Tempranillo that produced the superior wine. By the early part of the twentieth century, word had spread about this remarkable wine from Northern Spain. And when the 1917 and 1918 famously took prizes at the 1929 World’s Fair in Barcelona, its reputation soared. The owner’s insistence on deciding who should get his wine spurred its long run of mystery and exclusivity. Eventually, the wines were made available to the world, and Vega Sicilia became an enduring symbol of taste for upper class Spaniards living throughout the world.
Vineyard and Winemaking: The worst-kept secret in European wine circles for the last 2 years has been Vega Sicilia’s expansion into Rioja. Vega Sicilia and Benjamin de Rothschild began the project 10 years ago, with the discreet but steady acquisition of multiple vineyard plots from smallholder farmers. In this way, they quietly built up what is now a sizable holding of 120 hectares, all within 10 km of the village of San Vicente in the Rioja Alta. In the true style of Vega Sicilia, their purchases concentrated on the very best ‘terroir’, with stony calcareous clay soils, complex warm and cool mesoclimatic influences, and deep-rooted Tempranillo vines of 25 to 80 years in age.
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