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“A soft, succulent Rioja that captures the vibrancy of the Rioja Alta, without a preponderance of wood” is how one persnickety panel member described this wine, as the other tasters all smiled and nodded in approval. Indeed, Bodegas Bibainas’ 2006 Vina Zaco is already a reference point wine, meriting 90 plus points from the world’s most demanding critics. Moreover, the wine is a real crowd pleaser. Medium to full bodied and pleasingly aromatic, this Rioja hits all the sweet spots on the palate and everything else in between. It combines the heavenly scents of crushed red berries with hints of anise and sandalwood. In the mouth, Vina Zaco expands into a warm generous wine, rich in fruit, nut, and spice flavors that gain length and depth with aeration. Although ready to drink from the moment the cork exits the bottle, Vina Zaco will more than repay a little aeration prior to consumption. Consequently, we suggest you open this special Rioja at least twenty to thirty minutes before serving at cool room temperature (60º - 66º F).
Food and wine critics and many a self proclaimed connoisseur on both sides of the Atlantic have extolled the virtues of beef and lamb in the company of Rioja, and while steaks, stews, and braised lamb shanks provide tried and true accompaniments to the 2006 Vina Zaco, the contemporary style of this wine lends itself to broader appeal. Traditional Spanish jamon, prosciutto, and other meats also provide excellent counterpoint to the fruit and gregarious charm of Vina Zaco. Duck confit; rotisserie roasted chicken, basted with Mediterranean herbs, butter, olive oil, and garlic, and even savory pasta dishes, with or without meat, pair beautifully with this wine, too. Penne pasta, served with a heady white bean sauce, made with plenty of onion, garlic, red pepper, celery, and grated hard cheese showcase the fresh and elegant side of the 2006 Vina Zaco. World class cheeses such as Mahon, Manchego, Gouda, and Havarti in the company of freshly baked bread offer more reasons to open a bottle of the 2006 Vina Zaco. In addition, most meat, vegetable, and dairy recipes get a warm welcome from Vina Zaco.
Bodegas Bilbainas is one of the oldest and most trusted names in Rioja. Founded in 1859, Bilbainas is perhaps best known for fashioning some of Rioja’s most traditional reference point wines. Vina Pomal and La Vicalanda are the bodega’s more time-honored offerings, while Vina Zaco is the winery’s newest venture. Located in the prestigious Rioja Alta, the premier zone of the sprawling Rioja appellation, the Bilbainas estate comprises over 500 acres of some of the region’s oldest and most illustrious vines. Bilbainas is also the largest winery in the Rioja Alta. And unlike many of its neighbors, Bodegas Bilbainas uses only 100% estate grown grapes in all of its wines.
Vina Zaco draws its name from one of the oldest vineyards at Bilbainas and the entire Rioja Alta. It is made exclusively from Tempranillo grapes, the premier variety of Rioja. However, it is neither a Crianza nor a Reserva in the traditional style. Instead, it is a contemporary Rioja that draws its charm from the great fruit and essential terroir of the Zaco Vineyard. Vina Zaco is aged in American and French oak, but it is not constrained by the parochial rules of barrel aging established for Crianza and Reserva designations. Instead, Vina Zaco is bottled when the estate’s international award winning winemaker Diego Pinilla believes the wine has achieved its ultimate potential. With Vina Zaco, Bodegas Bilbainas has set out to make the ultimate modern expression of Rioja.
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