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Vega Sicilia Unico Cosecha 2008
- Great Domaines
- Wine Advocate
- Vinous Media
all ratings out of 100 points.
"2008 was a challenging vintage in Ribera del Duero, a vintage marked by a severe frost on September 24th. The vineyards of Vega Sicilia were saved by some anti-frost burners that really made the difference. Even though, there are only some 70,000 bottles of 2008 Único, a wine that will be released around March 2016 after the 2007, and before they sell 2005 and 2006. It's a fresher, more mineral version of Vega, and very much Vega in character. It has a certain aroma that I cannot define that I also found in the 2011 Valbuena. The palate is surprisingly polished; the wine is quite accessible from now on, with fine tannins and a subtle thread of acidity going through the core. This is a lighter version of Único, but one style I like very much; it's a wine that should drink well throughout its life. A triumph for the vintage conditions."
Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon
2015 - 2030
Large casks for at least 7 years
Vineyards & vinification:
15 months in 20,000-liter vats, 25 month in new barrels, 17 months in used barrels and a further 26 months in the big oak vats.
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.