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Vega Sicilia Unico Cosecha 2003 Magnum
- Great Domaines
- Vinous Media
- Wine Advocate
all ratings out of 100 points.
"As I uncork the bottle, the aroma reminds me of a classical Tempranillo, with some dill notes from the American oak and a minty hint from the Cabernet. It actually makes me think of traditional Rioja, believe it or not. The wine doesn’t show the heat of the vintage, and manages to transmit a general sensation of balance and finesse that is quite remarkable for the characteristics of the year. The aim here was to avoid the confited and raisiny notes of the fruit and the spirity character so common in that vintage. It starts off slightly lactic, with notes of cafe au lait, coconut and cola. With a bit of time, it turns more flowery and shows more red fruit. It is very aromatic, with plenty dry herbs, thyme and rosemary, even pine nuts, a bit of resin and some cured meat, and overall has a very complex nose. The mouth is a little more transparent toward the heat of the vintage, it is powerful and full-bodied, but manages to keep freshness. The minty note is there, with some hints of chalk that make it very tasty. It feels briary and opulent. A success over the vintage conditions, it already shows some signs of complexity, which points at an approachable Unico. Even though it can be drunk now, it will get more polished and integrated with a few years in bottle"
92% Tempranillo, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon
2013 - 2023+
Large casks for at least 7 years
Vineyards & vinification:
Aged for a total of seven years in large oak vats, new small barrels, used small barrels and large oak vats to rest before bottling (in that order).
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.