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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˚ 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.

Bodegas Vega Sicilia 2015 Valbuena 5˚xxx

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.

Château Latour Grand Vin 2001

R12,995.00 inc. VAT
"The 2001 Latour is magnificent. A huge, structured wine, the 2001 Latour boasts notable depth to match its vertical, towering structure and pure power. At nearly fifteen years of age, the 2001 remains deep, virile and imposing. With air, the 2001 is a approachable now, but ideally it needs at least a few more years in bottle. This is a superb showing by any measure. Frédéric Engerer adds that 2001 was the last vintage that was lightly filtered prior to bottling."- Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Château Margaux Grand Vin Premier Grand Cru Classé 2004

R9,995.00 inc. VAT
"The 2004 Chateau Margaux has always been a promising wine and here, served blind against the First Growths, it finally proved that patience is necessary when it comes to such wines. It has an exquisite bouquet with brilliant delineation, scents of redcurrant, raspberry coulis, cold stone (almost flint-like) with pencil-lead and cedar lending it a Pauillac-like sense of aristocratic flair. The palate is extremely well balanced with a supple opening, nigh perfect acidity with a surprisingly citric undercurrent that lends so much freshness and tension. While it does not have the weight and power of say, 2000, 2005 or 2009, it cruises along with utmost harmony and you become smitten by its charms - something that is perhaps in short supply among the First Growths in this vintage. This is excellent. " Neal Martin, Wine Advocate

Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Nuits St. Georges “Clos de la Maréchale” Rouge 2017

"A markedly earthy nose features notes of various dark berries and hints of game and similar green tea nuances. There is both good detail and a lovely underlying tension to the middle weight flavors that are not quite as refined but offer a bit more complexity on the lingering finish where the intensity and power really build from the mid-palate. This delicious effort should amply repay mid-term cellaring." - Allen Meadows, Burghound

Domaine Lafarge-Vial Chiroubles 2017

R420.00 inc. VAT
"A pepper-inflected nose is composed by mostly earthy dark berry fruit aromas. There is both good energy and intensity to the delicious flavors that possess reasonably good depth though the finish is pretty grippy and it would be fair to observe that the balance was affected by the hail." - Allen Meadows, Burghound

Domaine Lafarge-Vial Chiroubles 2018

R494.99 inc. VAT
Offering up inviting aromas of blackberries, cassis and cherries mingled with hints of licorice and grilled meats, the 2018 Chiroubles is medium to full-bodied, fleshy and charming, with a generous core of lively fruit, tangy acids and fine, powdery tannin. This characterful, classically proportioned Chiroubles is a great success.

Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon 2018

"A fine effort, the 2018 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon wafts from the glass with notes of white flowers, crisp yellow orchard fruit, fresh pastry and blanched almonds. Medium to full-bodied, bright and precise, it's elegant and fine-boned, with—as I observed last year—none of the blockiness of yesteryear's Clavoillon." - William Kelley, Wine Advocate

Luciano Sandrone Barolo Aleste 2016

The 2016 Barolo Aleste is ample, creamy and expansive in feel. But more than that, 2016 stands out for its freshness, persistence and brilliance. In so many vintages, the Aleste (formerly known as Cannubi Boschis) has been rich and powerful in feel, but in 2016, the wine is all about finesse. The red-fruited, floral purity of Nebbiolo comes through beautifully here; I especially admire the wine's translucence. Wow.

Marchesi Antinori “Solaia” Magnum 2011

R9,100.00 inc. VAT
"Blackberry jam, cassis, grilled herbs and melted road tar meld together in the 2011 Solaia. Another super-exotic, racy 2011 from Antinori, Solaia is supremely beautiful. Mocha, espresso and sage are some of the many notes that add complexity. Hints of white truffle, lavender, smoke and licorice are laced into the exotic, racy finish. In 2011, Solaia has a dollop more of Cabernet Franc in the blend, added to give the wine a touch of freshness. Ripe and flashy to the core, the 2011 needs time to lose some of its youthful exuberance. At times, the 2011 could be easily mistaken for a wine from Napa Valley, such is its intensity." - Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Marchesi Antinori “Solaia” Magnum 2012

R8,795.00 inc. VAT
"The 2012 Solaia is the ultimate comfort wine: It serves as a beautiful monument to the potential of Italian wine. Let me give you some context. My lukewarm review of the 2011 vintage caused some heads to turn. Happily, the previous vintage has served as a springboard for this current release. Both 2011 and 2012 come from hot climatic conditions, but these wines are very different in style and content. The 2011 heat softened the lines that make up the varietal identity of this celebrated Tuscan blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese. Those lines are presented in sharp focus with the 2012 edition. The nose is redolent of dark berry, crushed mineral, plum, spice and touch of white pepper. The wine is integrated and seamless, but it speaks with a strong and articulate voice." - Monica Larner, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Miani Bianco 2019

A stunning white blend from featuring Friulano, Malvasia, and Ribolla Gialla. It has everything - richness, depth but delivered with grace.

Paolo Scavino “Rocche dell’Annunziata” Barolo Riserva 2013

The 2013 Barolo Riserva Rocche dell'Annunziata is powerful and dense in the glass. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2013 is going to need a few years to soften. When I think of Rocche dell'Annunziata, I think of Barolos built on perfume and elegance. I don't see much of that here, at least in the early going. This is an especially extracted style. Hints of red plum, mocha, wild flowers and spice add nuance over time, but the 2013 is not ready yet to show all of its cards.