Vega Sicilia Macan Clasico 2016

$85.00
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Regular price $85.00

PARKER (93)

The 2016 Macán Clásico is their second wine in the Bordeaux sense. In 2016, they fermented the wine in stainless steel and reduced the number of new barrels to 50%, while 5% of the barrels were produced with American oak at the Vega Sicilia cooperage. The new winery was 100% ready and now has much better facilities. The élevage lasted 12 months, and this has contained ripeness and integrated oak. The year had freshness and balance and helped to produce lighter and more expressive wines, like this one. This has to be one of the finest vintages for this cuvée. 97,654 bottles, 1,060 magnums and some larger formats produced. It was bottled in August 2018.


The Producer

Bodegas Rothschild & Vega Sicilia

Bodegas Rothschild & Vega Sicilia

Macán is the result of a unique partnership between Vega Sicilia and Benjamin de Rothschild born out of a meeting between Pablo Álvarez and Benjamin de Rothschild in 2003. At that time Benjamin was looking for help to invest and produce wine in Spain and Pablo agreed, not to help, but to become a joint partner in a brand new venture.

The new venture was christened BR&VS and the two partners chose Rioja to be its home, as both Pablo and Benjamin recognised its great (still largely untapped) potential and hugely admired many of its wines. It took more than a few years to find and buy the right vineyards, but eventually they bought 80 hectares from a remarkable 70 different owners for their two wines. In the classic style of Bordeaux, there is a “Grand Vin” (Macán) and a “Second Wine” (Macán Clásico).

This is not traditional Rioja, Macán and Macán Clásico are not blends of various terroirs but aim to express one particular terroir – that of San Vicente de la Sonsierra in Rioja Alta.

Locals would say that Macán is the sort of wine Rioja used to make in the 1960s and it should not be considered “modern”, as such. BR&VS is not, however, following the traditional style of Rioja ageing nor using the Crianza/Reserva/Gran Reserva scale. The pair wanted the freedom to do what they feel is best for their wines; for instance, they have decided to age the wines in more elegant Burgundian oak (rather than the more traditional American).

Both wines spend 12 months in 50 percent new and 50 percent one-year-old Burgundian oak. Rather than trying to fit Macán into Rioja, winemaker Javier Ausas is looking for an individual expression, but also for Macán to fit clearly within the Vega Sicilia family of wines.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

PARKER (93)

The 2016 Macán Clásico is their second wine in the Bordeaux sense. In 2016, they fermented the wine in stainless steel and reduced the number of new barrels to 50%, while 5% of the barrels were produced with American oak at the Vega Sicilia cooperage. The new winery was 100% ready and now has much better facilities. The élevage lasted 12 months, and this has contained ripeness and integrated oak. The year had freshness and balance and helped to produce lighter and more expressive wines, like this one. This has to be one of the finest vintages for this cuvée. 97,654 bottles, 1,060 magnums and some larger formats produced. It was bottled in August 2018.


The Producer

Bodegas Rothschild & Vega Sicilia

Bodegas Rothschild & Vega Sicilia

Macán is the result of a unique partnership between Vega Sicilia and Benjamin de Rothschild born out of a meeting between Pablo Álvarez and Benjamin de Rothschild in 2003. At that time Benjamin was looking for help to invest and produce wine in Spain and Pablo agreed, not to help, but to become a joint partner in a brand new venture.

The new venture was christened BR&VS and the two partners chose Rioja to be its home, as both Pablo and Benjamin recognised its great (still largely untapped) potential and hugely admired many of its wines. It took more than a few years to find and buy the right vineyards, but eventually they bought 80 hectares from a remarkable 70 different owners for their two wines. In the classic style of Bordeaux, there is a “Grand Vin” (Macán) and a “Second Wine” (Macán Clásico).

This is not traditional Rioja, Macán and Macán Clásico are not blends of various terroirs but aim to express one particular terroir – that of San Vicente de la Sonsierra in Rioja Alta.

Locals would say that Macán is the sort of wine Rioja used to make in the 1960s and it should not be considered “modern”, as such. BR&VS is not, however, following the traditional style of Rioja ageing nor using the Crianza/Reserva/Gran Reserva scale. The pair wanted the freedom to do what they feel is best for their wines; for instance, they have decided to age the wines in more elegant Burgundian oak (rather than the more traditional American).

Both wines spend 12 months in 50 percent new and 50 percent one-year-old Burgundian oak. Rather than trying to fit Macán into Rioja, winemaker Javier Ausas is looking for an individual expression, but also for Macán to fit clearly within the Vega Sicilia family of wines.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.