Bodegas Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2012
Other Red Blends from Ribera del Duero, Spain
Valbuena, is the purest expression of the Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) in Vega Sicilia. Tinto Fino is clearly the predominant wine in the assemblage of the varieties that make up this magnificent wine. The other variety used is Merlot, which is added to a greater or lesser extent depending on the vintage.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2012 Valbuena was cropped from a vintage with a very dry and warm summer that resulted in very healthy grapes. Since the 2010 vintage, this wine is fermented plot by plot following the findings from a soils study they did. The élevage is in French and American oak barrels that on average lasts some 18 months followed by another 18 months in 20,000-liter oak vats, but of course some lots had more time in barrique and others more time in vat. It has ripe tannins and a powerful mouthfeel but with a soft texture. Even if it's not widely mentioned, it always has had some French grapes, mainly Merlot, but this 2012 is the first Valbuena ever to be really 100% Tempranillo—because the Merlot didn't behave well in this warm and dry year. It follows the path opened by the 2010, more precise and elegant, rounded by that extra time in larger vats to finish polishing the tannins. I find this 2012 halfway between 2010 and 2011. It has depth and elegance, more serious than Alión, which is always the (maybe unfair) comparison. 174,545 bottles and some larger formats were filled in April 2014."
Wine & Spirits - "For the first time in its history, Valbuena is 100 percent Tempranillo. In the past, it always had some Merlot, but under the hot and very dry conditions of 2012, Merlot simply did not give the quality. Despite the season, the wine isn't marked by heat. After three years of aging in wood and two years in bottle (hence the name, Valbuena 5), this wine feels energetic, rich in kirsch flavors, evolving toward spices and plum as it gains in complexity. The texture remains tense and the structure feels tight, focused on a long life ahead. A classic Ribera del Duero, with elegance and depth."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Opaque ruby. Primary dark berry and cherry scents are complemented by suggestions of vanilla, coconut, cured tobacco and cedary oak and accented by a suave floral topnote. Sappy, concentrated and expansive in the mouth, offering sweet black raspberry, cherry-vanilla and candied licorice flavors that are supported by a spine of juicy acidity. Unfolds slowly with air, picking up a spicy quality that carries through the very long, gently tannic finish, which echoes the cherry and coconut notes. Hands off this one for at least a few more years."
Wine Spectator - "Tobacco and cedar notes frame dried cherry, plum, loamy earth and menthol flavors in this savory red. Below the polished texture, firm tannins and balsamic acidity lend structure. Old-school, but harmonious and deep. Drink now through 2024."
- View All
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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review0