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Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5 Cosecha 2013
- Great Domaines
- Wine Advocate
all ratings out of 100 points.
"This wine was re-tasted prior to this report with similar descriptors to my previous tasting for a report I published earlier this year and the score was the same. Cropped from an unusually cold and rainy vintage in which they will not bottle Único, the 2013 Valbuena is always released in its fifth year. It's mostly Tempranillo with 5% Merlot that was put through a three- to four-day cold soak in the oak vats, where it fermented with indigenous yeasts and was pumped over. It matured in new and used 225-liter French and American oak barriques and also in 20,000-liter oak vats, where the larger vessels respect the fruit, especially in a more fragile vintage like 2013. It's a very elegant and fresh Valbuena with a developed nose, quite classical with a fine texture, elegant tannins and a supple, long finish where the oak is still quite obvious. I liked it very much and consider it a triumph over the challenges of the year. "
2019 - 2028
5 years new and used French and American oak barriques and vats
Vineyards & vinification:
Fermented in large oak vats and raised in a 50/50 blend of French and American oak, followed by brief sojourns in used oak barrels and vats before bottling.
In 1864, Eloy Lecanda founded the winery that symbolizes the golden legend of Spanish red wine. The Vega Sicilia we know today began in 1982, when El Enebro S.A. (a company owned by the Álvarez Mezquíriz family) acquired the winery and the vineyards.
From that year onwards, David Álvarez along with his sons and daughters have endeavoured to marry modern innovative techniques with traditional winemaking processes. The vineyards and vines, which are almost half a century old, receive careful attention and failing parcels have been replanted in rotation.
The Vega Sicilia winery is located in Valbuena de Duero, in the province of Valladolid, on an estate made up of a fertile plain that follows the course of the river. The river is the northern boundary of the 1,000 hectares of the property; the southern limit is set by the woods, which stand on the slopes leading to the plain. The estate has a plantation of 250 hectares of vineyard, which contains 80% of Tinto Fino (a clone of Tempranillo), the rest is interestingly divided between Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. The mixture of alluvial clay and limestone, apart from providing a fertile base, also impart a depth and complexity to their wines.
Yields in the vineyard are kept as low as is practical, and the defining quality of the wine-making process is the quality of raw material and attention to detail. Only the best grapes are used, and a complex series of racking takes place between large casks and smaller barriques as well as new and old oak.
Both the Vega-Sicilia Único and the Reserva Especial consist predominantly of Tinto Fino, around 80%, Cabernet Sauvignon and a little bit of Merlot. The former is their reference wine, released on a vintage basis. A beautiful ripe cherry colour, this is a big wine - a full and powerful structure with good tannins to carry the it in the cellar. The latter, the Único Reserva Especial, is all about consistency. It blends three vintages together to create a wine of uniformity. Traditionally, a Reserva Especial offers the best representation of the wines of the winery.
From their younger vines come the Valbuena 5°, a vintage red. It is also predominantly made up of Tinto Fino, but with more Merlot than Cabernet (in contrast to its bigger brother, the Único). The same red, Bordeaux colour leads to a fruity nose with a softer, more austere palate with a good length.
As dictated by tradition, wines are bottle-aged at the Bodega for 10 years before released to the public.
Highly prized, there are no secrets to the making of their magnificent wines. It all comes together with a blend of high-quality base fruit, meticulousness in the cellar, all executed with great expertise and passion. This is one of the world’s great fine wines.