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Benjamin de Rothschild & Vega Sicilia Macan 2013

Benjamin de Rothschild & Vega Sicilia Macan 2013

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"The youthful-looking 2013 Macán is pure Tempranillo sourced from a myriad of plots of old vines from the 90 hectares of vineyards they own mostly in the village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra. It fermented in oak vats, with 20% of the volume going through malolactic in barrique and an élevage of 14 months exclusively in French oak barrels. The two wines from 2013 share a common characteristic, which is better integrated oak and a subtler mouthfeel. Other than that, the ripeness of the grapes also seemed more moderate, which has resulted in fresher, more elegant wines. Here there is a mixture of red and black fruit, and some notes of dark spices. The palate shows very polished tannins and good balance, more serious than the Clásico. Yields were lower and they also had to sort and select grapes, so quantities are lower at 52,000 bottles in the case of this Macán. Drink: 2016-2023. 93 points

The joint venture between Benjamin de Rothschild and Vega Sicilia has finished building its winery in the village of Samaniego (Álava), after they have completed the acquisition of some 90 hectares of vineyards. These vineyards are mostly in the neighboring village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, but also Labastida, Ábalos, Samaniego and Baños de Ebro. They expect to ferment the 2016 harvest there and they will have enough space and vats to ferment by plot, similarly to what they have done with Valbuena in Vega Sicilia since 2010. They want to have 95 hectares of vineyards in production and own 35 hectares of land, which should allow them to rotate the vineyards to have an average age of 40 to 50 years, and never use grapes from vines younger than 11 years. The wines in the market now are 2013, which is a cool, late vintage, quite challenging, but that has also produced some very good wines. Modern, ripe and generously oaked red with a modern and commercial profile that keep getting polished each vintage as they gain experience in the zone."

Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (226)