Bigardo Winery, A Raging Bull
Toro is a small Spanish region along the Duero River. This place is home to just over 5,500 hectares of old Tempranillo bush-vines, here known as Tinta de Toro, which thrive to vinous perfection in a truly special terroir.
Dry, blistering summers mature the quintessential Spanish grape beyond belief — and these ripe, thick-skinned grapes are the source of the most spectacular wines you can imagine.
A gorgeous climate, centuries-old viticultural heritage, and ancient vines are only one side of the coin; they need the talented hand of a passionate winemaker to become wine of thoughtful beauty. They found it in Bigardo.
‘Bigardo’ is a local term for big, sturdy, and rebellious men, and in the best light, it describes Kiko Calvo, the winery’s founder. Having studied enology and earning a certification as a sommelier, Kiko always knew making wine was his vocation.
The enthusiastic winemaker with experience in Portugal, Bordeaux, Australia, California, Argentina, and Chile returned to Toro, his hometown, to change the region’s history with the experimental Bigardo.
Kiko Calvos’ low intervention approach to winemaking is raising eyebrows as innovation meets Toro’s traditional methods. Only the finest grapes are picked from selected plots of the family-owned vineyards at the heart of Toro.
The grapes are fermented with native yeast in a temperature-controlled and gravity-fed operation. Each parcel is treated individually in small tanks, and the wine is tasted several times a day to achieve perfection.
“Bigardo is what I have considered it should be — a logical wine.”
The result is dozens of individual wines that become the colors in Kiko’s palette, which he uses to paint a picture-perfect postcard of the Spanish terroir with his assemblage.
Bigardo is finally aged between five and six months in oak barrels of different sizes and toast levels in the purest experimental approach. What a wine this is, a modern, but handcrafted rendition of one of the finest wine regions in Europe.
2014 was the first vintage for “Bigardo, Experimental Red Wine”.
Only 2,000 bottles were handcrafted and embellished by a smart label depicting a “Rock on” hand gesture, also reminiscent of a bull.
The production has risen since then, but Kiko is faithful to its philosophy — great wine in small quantities. Numbered bottles of artisan wine, each infused with the winery’s rebellious spirit and passion for wine done right.
Bigardo is a contemplative wine that could brighten any wine collection, but it’s also a source for immediate pleasure, ideal for enjoying with friends.
Bigardo, a well-made, exciting Toro, brimming with tradition and vibrant youth, is sophisticated and straightforward, showing itself with a ruby red cloak with purple hues.
The first nose is intense and layered, bringing forward aromas of black currants, boysenberries, and dried cherries infused with scents of unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, and vanilla. A lovely bouquet over a robust, yet elegant palate that extends for minutes before gliding into a lush aftertaste.
In the words of the talented winemaker, Bigardo “is not ecological, not Biodynamic, not crianza, reserva or pago, it’s what I have considered it should be, a logical wine.”
The Food Pairings
Bigardo is a gastronomic wine with extraordinary versatility. It is a great companion for aged cheese like Manchego and complements high-quality sausages and cured meats, including Spain’s famous Iberico ham.
Grilled game meat, slow-cooked meat stews, and rustic lentil dishes are excellent proteins to match Bigardo’s tannic profile. Good friends and a bottle of Brigardo, though, that’s all you need to have a fabulous time.
Bigardo is quite a special wine, so don’t wait and get a case because the secret is out, there’s a raging bull in Toro.