Ramon Bilbao visits New York – I recently attended a media lunch at Leña in Little Spain Market, where I had the pleasure of dining with Rodolfo Bastida Caro, the head winemaker of Ramon Bilbao. Ramon Bilbao is known for its wide range of wines from different regions in Spain. Their wines include Verdejo from Rueda D.O. and Tempranillo from Rioja, with aging options like Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva, as well as experimenting with highlighting the Terroir.
Additionally, Ramon Bilbao also produces a line of spirits. It was interesting to learn that they are the producers of Licor 43, used in a Mexican cocktail known as “Carajillo,” similar to an Espresso Martini but with Mexican fire or so I said Mexican creativity.
Although I had tasted Ramón Bilbao wines before, this experience was unique and unforgettable. Below are the wines that we had during the tasting:
- Ramón Bilbao Lalomba Finca Lalinde Rosado 2020
- Ramón Bilbao Verdejo 2022
- Ramón Bilbao Limited Edition 2019
- Ramón Bilbao Gran Reserva 2015
- Ramón Bilbao Mirto 2016
Ramón Bilbao is a quality, budget-friendly producer that I have to say is the one I follow the most. Whenever I encounter producers whose wines I enjoy, I try different vintages and sample new projects, like unique blends or single vineyard productions.
At this lunch, the restaurant team did an excellent job pairing the wines with authentic Spanish food. As a pescetarian, I appreciated that the restaurant offered curated tapas for me. As the go-to option with Rioja is usually Jamon Serrano I was surprised how well it worked with seafood options. The tapas’ flavor profiles matched the savory spices’ level and enhanced the wines’ taste. Overall, it was a fantastic experience, and I look forward to repeating it when visiting Little Spain next time.
I felt transported back to Spain for a moment. It was special reminiscing about my time in Madrid when pairing tapas with Riojas was every day moment of life.
Meet Rodolfo Bastida Caro from Ramon Bilbao
Rodolfo Bastida Caro, a descendant of a family of winegrowers and the Technical Director of Ramón Bilbao Wines and Vineyards, is a native of the Rioja region. After completing his education in Agricultural Technical Engineering and obtaining a Master’s degree in Viticulture and Oenology, he began collaborating in the Rioja region in 1990.
Bastida Caro’s primary focus is highlighting the unique soils of the area where the fruit is grown. He believes that Ramón Bilbao’s wines reflect the region’s microclimate, terroir, and varieties. On his own words: “The wines of Ramón Bilbao Rioja, are primarily based on Tempranillo. But include small amounts of other traditional types such as Mazuelo and Graciano. Recently, Grenache has been incorporated into some of the wines For instance, such as Viñedos de Altura (50% Tempranillo and 50% Garnacha), as well as for their rosé. The agings of the wines are based on the refinement and complexity added when they are aged in the appropriate oak for each of them. The focus is on achieving longevity in the wine by gaining sophistication and polymerization of the tannins rather than on the oak flavor.”
Bastida Caro’s goal is to convey the essence of the area and is dedicated to transmit the wine making passion to the consumers through their wines.