In a nutshell: A super smooth, rich and polished style of Rioja from two of the great names in wine.
The lowdown: Mácan is a collaboration between the famous Vega Sicilia estate and Bordeaux's Benjamin de Rothschild which brings together the skills and talents from both to create an exemplary wine. These aren't traditional Riojas and aim to express the characteristics of one particular terroir rather than the region as a whole. The grapes are only from vineyards around the town of San Vicente de la Sonsierra in Rioja Alta and are matured in fine Burgundian oak barrels for 12 months. 2016 was a super vintage in Rioja and has made a wine with a lovely mixture of red and dark fruits with spicy flavours with silky tannins and a elegant freshness. A subtle, sophisticated and quite graceful version of Rioja that fits well among the Vega Sicilia style of wines.
When to drink: With its style and poise this is has just come into its drinking window and will continue to mature and improve untlt the mid 2020s and beyond.
Born in the early 2000's this joint venture between Vega Sicilia and Benjamin de Rothschild has brought together two of the powerhouses of Rioja and Bordeaux respectively. They chose to base themselves in Rioja due to their shared respect for the reputation and perceived further potential for the wines of this region. Their winery is in the town of Samaniego, east of Haro and has been operational since 2016.
In the Bordeaux manner they make a Grand Vin, Macán and a Second Wine, Macán Clásico. These don't conform to the regular Crianza and Reserva ageing criteria as they wanted a freer hand to express the terroir of the vineyards in the San Vincente de la Sonsierra area in their own style.
Head of winemaking at Macán, and Vega Sicilia's other Spanish wineries, is Gonzalo Iturriaga who joined the business in 2015 after extensive experience in the Spanish wine trade.