2018 Benjamin de Rothschild & Vega Sicilia
2017 was a very challenging year, as most of their vineyards in San Vicente de la Sonsierra in Rioja were affected by frost, unlike others in nearby Laguardia. Not only was it frost, but they also had hail later on in the season. Quantities suffered—they told me they lost 70% of the crop in Rioja that year—but they were happy about the quality of the 2017 Macán, being very careful with the fermentation and separating the press wine by quality. The 4,000-liter oak foudres helped to polish the tannins, and they used 50% new barrels. The élevage lasted 16 moths. It's a little riper than the Clásico from 2018 that I tasted next to it, with a little more alcohol (14.5%) and mellow acidity. It's clearly a weaker vintage, and the wine shows it: the fruit is a little ripe and shows some tiredness, like it's evolving at a faster pace. It has abundant, slightly rustic tannins. 40,400 bottles, 2,566 magnums and some larger formats produced. It was bottled in September 2019. Quantities reflect the low yields. Drinking range: 2022 - 2027 Rating: 93 Luis Gutierrez, www.robertparker.com (Jan 2022)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
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