|Kiko Calvo 2019 'Bigardo' Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo), Toro DO
Native of Toro, Kiko Calvo was always thrown back by the idea of how everybody in his region thought they made the best wine in the world without knowing what the rest of the world was doing. It was like they lived in their own little bubble where their wine ruled above else.
As somewhat of a rebel or bigardo, Kiko was ready to travel and work around the world before returning home and making wine of his own. From 2011 to 2015, he worked two harvests a year between both hemispheres (France, California, Australia, Chile, Argentina, and various regions of Spain). For this reason he calls Bigardo an experimental wine, gathering his experiences from around the world and capturing them in a bottle.
In 2014, he made his first 2,000 bottles of Bigardo, but it wasn’t until 2015 that he returned and fully immersed himself in his family’s 20-hectare estate increasing production to about 10,000 bottles. The farming is done organically, or as Kiko calls it, "logically." Any other way just wouldn’t make sense in a region where organic farming is so easy given the arid climate. The beauty of owning such an extensive estate is that he gets to keep the best fruit from his favorite vineyards while the rest is sold as his family has always done. Most of the fruit comes from his Valdefinjas and Los Llanos vineyards, both of which are inside the Toro D.O. between 600 and 750 meters of altitude with vines ranging anywhere from 20 to 100 years of age. Composed of sandy soils, his vineyards are 100% own rooted Tinta de Toro, which according to the people of Toro is not Tempranillo (very important).
A first selection is done in the vineyard. The guidelines for harvest are easy. You don’t cut fruit you wouldn’t eat. Kiko looks for freshness, non-overripe fruit, good acidity, tannin, and balance, always the balance. The idea is to get the best quality from the vineyard so that intervention is minimal. After a second selection in the cellar, each parcel ferments spontaneously with indigenous yeast. The wine ages in old barrels of different sizes and toasts for about 5 to 6 months. Everything in the cellar, from grape entry to racking to bottling, is done by gravity. Kiko is a strong believer in the no pump movement. The work is slower and tedious, but the result is...well you'll just have to taste!
Instagram: @vinobigardo, @kikocalvotoro