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Bodegas Vega Sicilia 2006 Unico Magnum

I tasted the 2006 Único again, and it's clearly the best Único produced in the last few years, to which I don't find much logic, as on paper 2004 and 2005 were better years in Ribera del Duero. However it is, the 2006 is a fantastic modern Vega Sicilia in the making, powerful and clean, still very young and marked by the élevage with a whiff of American oak and a creamy texture in the palate. It should age very well for a very long time. I'd wait to pull the cork, even if it's drinkable and quite showy already. This is the current vintage in 2018, even if the 2007 and 2008 were released before it and even before the 2005. In 2019 they will release the 2009. 93,993 bottles, 2,552 magnums, 165 double magnums and six imperials were produced.

Bodegas Vega Sicilia 2010 Unico

Opaque violet. Intensely perfumed, expansive black and blue fruit preserve, potpourri, Moroccan spice and botanical herb scents are complemented by smoky mineral and vanilla flourishes. Sappy, penetrating and deeply concentrated on the palate, offering vibrant, mineral-laced black currant, bitter cherry, chewing tobacco, mocha and floral pastille flavors that deepen and turn sweeter on the back half. Shows superb focus and vibrant, floral lift on the wonderfully long, youthfully tannic finish, which leaves behind cherry liqueur, candied violet and spicecake notes.

Bodegas Vega Sicilia 2015 Valbuena 5˚

Opaque garnet. Vibrant, finely detailed cherry liqueur, dark berry, exotic spice, and floral qualities on the expressive nose, along with hints of mocha and incense. Stains the palate with sweet, penetrating red and dark fruit, violet pastille, chewing tobacco and spice cake flavors that pick up a vanilla flourish on the back half. Smoothly blends power and finesse and finishes on a youthfully tannic note, showing outstanding clarity and mineral-tinged persistence.

Bodegas Vega Sicilia 2015 Valbuena 5˚ 3L

Opaque garnet. Vibrant, finely detailed cherry liqueur, dark berry, exotic spice and floral qualities on the expressive nose, along with hints of mocha and incense. Stains the palate with sweet, penetrating red and dark fruit, violet pastille, chewing tobacco and spicecake flavors that pick up a vanilla flourish on the back half. Smoothly blends power and finesse and finishes on a youthfully tannic note, showing outstanding clarity and mineral-tinged persistence.

Bodegas Vega Sicilia 2015 Valbuena 5˚ Magnum

Opaque garnet. Vibrant, finely detailed cherry liqueur, dark berry, exotic spice and floral qualities on the expressive nose, along with hints of mocha and incense. Stains the palate with sweet, penetrating red and dark fruit, violet pastille, chewing tobacco and spicecake flavors that pick up a vanilla flourish on the back half. Smoothly blends power and finesse and finishes on a youthfully tannic note, showing outstanding clarity and mineral-tinged persistence.
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Bodegas y Viñedos Alion 2016 Tinto

R1,250.00 inc. VAT
Glass-staining violet. Heady smoke- and mineral-accented aromas of ripe black and blue fruits, incense and potpourri, plus hints of vanilla and cola in the background. Densely packed, alluringly sweet and focused on the palate, offering intense black currant, cherry-vanilla and candied licorice flavors and a touch of exotic spices. Sappy, smooth and seamless in texture, finishing with powerful thrust and velvety tannins that come in late to add shape and gentle grip. 95% French and 5% American oak, 80% of it new.
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Bodegas y Viñedos Alion 2016 Tinto 3L

R7,995.00 inc. VAT
Glass-staining violet. Heady smoke- and mineral-accented aromas of ripe black and blue fruits, incense and potpourri, plus hints of vanilla and cola in the background. Densely packed, alluringly sweet and focused on the palate, offering intense black currant, cherry-vanilla and candied licorice flavors and a touch of exotic spices. Sappy, smooth and seamless in texture, finishing with powerful thrust and velvety tannins that come in late to add shape and gentle grip. 95% French and 5% American oak, 80% of it new.
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Bodegas y Viñedos Alion 2016 Tinto Magnum

R2,950.00 inc. VAT
Glass-staining violet. Heady smoke- and mineral-accented aromas of ripe black and blue fruits, incense and potpourri, plus hints of vanilla and cola in the background. Densely packed, alluringly sweet and focused on the palate, offering intense black currant, cherry-vanilla and candied licorice flavors and a touch of exotic spices. Sappy, smooth and seamless in texture, finishing with powerful thrust and velvety tannins that come in late to add shape and gentle grip. 95% French and 5% American oak, 80% of it new.
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Bodegas y Viñedos Pintia 2015 Tinto

R850.00 inc. VAT
Deep, glistening ruby. Expansive cherry, cassis, potpourri, exotic spice and cracked pepper scents on the intensely perfumed nose; subtle licorice, tobacco and vanilla qualities add complexity. Deep, sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering intense, spice- and smoke-tinged red and dark berry compote, violet pastille and cola flavors that become livelier with air. The floral quality gains strength on the strikingly long finish, which leaves smoke and mineral notes behind.
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Bodegas y Viñedos Pintia 2015 Tinto 3L

R4,995.00 inc. VAT
Deep, glistening ruby. Expansive cherry, cassis, potpourri, exotic spice and cracked pepper scents on the intensely perfumed nose; subtle licorice, tobacco and vanilla qualities add complexity. Deep, sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering intense, spice- and smoke-tinged red and dark berry compote, violet pastille and cola flavors that become livelier with air. The floral quality gains strength on the strikingly long finish, which leaves smoke and mineral notes behind.
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Bodegas y Viñedos Pintia 2015 Tinto Magnum

R1,995.00 inc. VAT
Deep, glistening ruby. Expansive cherry, cassis, potpourri, exotic spice and cracked pepper scents on the intensely perfumed nose; subtle licorice, tobacco and vanilla qualities add complexity. Deep, sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering intense, spice- and smoke-tinged red and dark berry compote, violet pastille and cola flavors that become livelier with air. The floral quality gains strength on the strikingly long finish, which leaves smoke and mineral notes behind.
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La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 890 Tinto 2005

R2,200.00 inc. VAT
I tasted the 2005 Gran Reserva 890 again, and I liked it better this time than in my previous review, even if I normally like the Gran Reserva 904 better than this bottling, as I find it better balanced. I tend to feel less energy in this wine, as it spends a very long time in barrel, six years in this case. 2005 was an excellent vintage, and they implemented some improvements in the harvest, introducing 350-kilo boxes and refrigerated transport to the winery, which they think provides better grapes and potentially better quality of the wines. The palate is medium-bodied, the tannins have mostly melted, and it has lively acidity that lift the wine up. This is a very classical and polished Rioja. 57,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in March 2012.