Mission Codename Synergy
Sometimes when two forces combine, incredible things happen.
Like baking soda and vinegar. Or David Bowie and Queen. Or peanut butter and pickle sandwiches.
Or, in the wine world, when superstars like Rothschild and Vega Sicilia join forces to brew up a new Rioja project. And today you can get a taste of this 96-point love child for the best price in America.
Well, Lafite is Lafite. And Vega Sicilia has been a dominant force in Spain …no, make that the world, for many years.
Like many great Bordeaux wines, this project yields two wines - the “Grand Vin” Macán and the “second wine” Macán Clasico. Macán is truly spectacular, and priced way less than many other options from these two producers.
Made from 100% Tempranillo, it’s a powerful beauty. Candied red whips, dusty red currants, blackberry, allspice, dark roasted coffee, worn leather, and a woody finish. They chose to age these wines in French oak instead of the more traditional American oak. The style has been described as a “neo-classical” Rioja. Not too modern, but not a total classic either.
96 Points – Decanter
“The first vintage to be vinified partly in the new winery, and also the first vintage to be made entirely by winemaker Gonzalo Iturriaga de Juan, replacing Xavier Ausàs (at Vega Sicilia also). And just to continue with the changes, this was also the point at which they introduced large 4,000l wooden vats for the final three months of aging, after 12 months in 225l barrels. The idea was to work on the texture while minimizing the oak influence. In terms of vintage, this is similar to the 2010, so a rich style of wine, concentrated with white pepper spice, but also juicy and gourmet and extremely enjoyable. This is too young right now, still needs a few years in bottle but it is a great wine with energy and freshness, and brilliantly showcases what Macán is becoming. Drinking Window 2022-2042.”
95 Points – James Suckling
“A dense red that is agile and energetic with gorgeous blackberry, dark chocolate and hints of cedar. Notes of spice and toasted chocolate. Full to medium body, very long and polished textures. A classic Rioja with a touch of modernity. Drink or hold.”
94 Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“Deep ruby-red. Highly expressive, smoke-accented black raspberry, cherry pie, incense and cola aromas show outstanding clarity and spicy lift. Expansive, palate-staining red fruit preserve and cherry-vanilla flavors are complemented by candied rose, mocha and succulent herb flourishes. The floral note carries emphatically through a strikingly long, energetic finish that’s given shape by suave, polished tannins. Drink 2025-2035.”
What the Winery Says
2015 'Macán' Rioja
- Gonzalo Iturriaga de Juan
- 100% Tempranillo
- Rioja DOCa, Spain
- Ábalos, Labastida, El Villar, San Vicente de la Sonsierra
- Average vine age
- 36 years
- Planting density
- 3,333 vines per ha
- 500 meters above sea level
- 3,500 kg /ha
- Harvest dates
- September 17 -October 3, 2016
- 17 months
- 66% new French oak