Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico Tinto 2007
Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
Unico comes from the oldest vines of the property. In addition to Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon provides more of composition merlot. Although it is old, red maintains its resiliency provided by good acidity balanced with a resounding alcohol. It has an intense ripe cherry color, with the sharp edge of a correct wine. Prevalent in the aromas are the notes of toasty wood, a result of its evolution during his years in cask. Amplitude has aged but clean flavors of wood, dry and pleasantly bitter tannins from oak, with his touch of light sweetness of the wine's spirit.
The Wine Advocate - "They have kept 2005 and 2006 for now, and they are releasing the 2007 Único from a lighter vintage that is accessible already; they will even sell 2008 before 2005 and 2006. 2007 was a cold vintage in Ribera and it produced lighter, fresher wines (perhaps not as problematic as 2008, but there was also frost in 2007). The wine might be a tad lighter than other vintages, but it's more structured than 2008; it combines elegance and power, is nicely balanced and should be able to develop in bottle for many years, although the quick evolution of the bottle once opened made me hesitate about its drinking window. Let's hope I'm wrong. 80,000 bottles produced. "
Wine Spectator - "This harmonious red is balanced and deep, offering ripe plum and currant flavors, with black pepper, tobacco, licorice and mineral accents. Delivers plenty of structure, with well-integrated tannins and lively acidity. The wine remains graceful through the long, spicy finish. Drink now through 2027."
Wine Enthusiast - "Aromas of raisin and cassis lean in the direction of overripe. This is less elegant and more blocky than most bottlings of Unico, but with ripe, loamy blackberry and plum flavors, it tastes great. A slightly hollow but round finish with mild residual tannins suggests that this be drunk now through 2024."
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Bodegas Vega Sicilia Winery
The foundations of Vega Sicilia's traditions may be found as far back as 1859, when Don Eloy Lecanda Chaves was gifted an estate by his wealthy father. The origins of the Vega Sicilia winery are officially regarded as 1864, which was when Don Eloy Lecanda Chaves returned from his travels in Bordeaux with vine cuttings, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Carmenere - all of which were found in Bordeaux at that time - and, curiously, some Pinot Noir. Regardless of how Pinot Noir arrived, the cuttings were duly propagated and planted at Vega Sicilia, although the Carmenere and Pinot Noir are no longer found in the Vega Sicilia vineyards.
Vega Sicilia's Tempranillo is trained in gobelet fashion, whereas the French varieties are trained in a Guyot system. Green harvesting is employed ruthlessly in order to control yields, and the harvest itself is meticulous. In the winery, such a massive wine will withstand many years in wood and Unico sees a complicated series of rackings from huge barrels to new oak, to used American oak, back to new oak again, and on it goes. Whatever these phases are called, Unico certainly receives very prolonged barrel ageing, with the 1970 seeing over sixteen years! And yet these are not washed out, stretched, overly oaky wines when mature, testimony to the quality of the raw materials on which they are based.
-Chris Kissack, The Winedoctor View all Bodegas Vega Sicilia Wines
About Ribera del DueroView a map of Ribera del Duero wineries (rib-EHR-ah del dwehr-oh)
Notable FactsRibera’s main grape variety, Tempranillo, locally known as Tinto Fino, is perfectly suited to the extreme climate of the region, where it must survive scorching summers and frigid winters. Low yields resulting from conscientious tending to old vines planted in Ribera's diverse soils types, give Ribera wines a distinctive depth and complexity not found in other Tempranillos. Rich and full-bodied, Ribera del Duero wines pair well with roast meats and aged cheeses.
The most popular red varieties of Spain include Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Whites don't garner quite as much recognition, but there are some regional varieties not to be missed, like Albarino and Verdejo. The popular red regions of Spain include Rioja, known for its outstanding wines of the Tempranillo grape; Ribera del Duero, producing high quality reds from Tempranillo and Garnacha; Galacia, with the sub-region of Rias Baixas, home to the deliciously crisp and floral Albarino grape; and Priorat, a region increasing in popularity with its high-quality cult reds. Other regions of note are Rueda, growing the Verdejo grape, La Mancha, a wide desert region, covered in the most planted white variety in the world, Airen, and Jumilla, making wines based on Monastrell (Mourvedre).
Spain's wine laws are based on the Denominacion de Origen (DO) classification system, devised in the 1930's. A four tiered system, the most basic level is Vina de Mesa (table wine) followed by Vino de la Tierra (country wine), DO and at the top DOC. Currently, only Rioja and Priorat have DOC status, while over 65 DO's scatter the country.
Most DO regions are classified and regulated by how long they age the wines. On a red wine label, one may find the terms Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, denoting the wine's barrel and bottle time. Crianza is usually two years between barrel and bottle (the time in each depends on the DO and/or the winemaker), Reserva up to 4 years and Gran Reserva 5 – 6 years. Classifications of each region and wine are controlled by the region's Consejo Regulador.
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