Sometimes when things come together, they are simply meant to be. This was the case with Ramón Bilbao’s Head Winemaker Rodolfo Bastida, Spanish classical musican Ara Malikian, and third-generation violinmaker Fernando Solar. Bastida explained how the thought process came about, describing the winery’s desire to discover new ways to grow with their wine in an artistic sense. Eventually, the thought of utilizing their French oak barrels struck a chord, and the interest of breathing new life into the wood through music was conceived, with Solar creating Malikian’s ‘vinous violin’ in just two months.
The documentary ‘The Soul of a Violin’ follows their journey, and along with it Ramón Bilbao’s Gran Reserva 2010. In late 2018, about 1,000 bottles of the wine aged in the specific barrel will be released. The aromas are as complex and elegant as the music Malikian now creates, with traces of fruit like blackberries, prunes and cherry with hints of spices and aromatic herbs such as rosemary and turrón. A beautiful shade of garnet red in color, it pairs well with roast lamb, red meats, and richly sauced dishes.