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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico Tinto 1999

Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
  • JS97
  • WS94
  • RP92
0% ABV
  • RP96
  • WS94
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • WE92
  • JS100
  • RP98
  • W&S97
  • WE96
  • WS94
  • V97
  • RP96
  • W&S96
  • WS95
  • JS94
  • WE98
  • RP97
  • WS94
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • WE91
  • RP95
  • W&S94
  • WS93
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • RP98
  • RP96
  • WS92
  • RP95
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Color is cherry with a ruby rim.On the nose the Unico has a complex mix of aromas with fine wood tones, compote and balsam with some menthol and rosemary.In the mouth, a subtle and discreet feel, with an opulent palate but not agressive. Tones of tobacco, menthol and fine wood make this Unico a wine based the aromatic complexity and great persistence.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 97
James Suckling
I love the complexity of fruit and spice to this wine with its hints of dried fruits, figs and roses. Full and layered. Very ripe yet fresh. Concentrated yet lively. Goes on for minutes.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Elegant and expressive, this supple, traditional red shows cherry, floral, vanilla and mineral notes that are both harmonious and intense. Not a blockbuster, but remains fresh and alluring through the spicy finish.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1999 Unico is a blend of 90% Tinto Fino and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 21-months in large wooden vats, twenty months in new barrel, seventeen months in semi-new barrels and then 24 months in large wooden casks. The harvest was interrupted by downpours and did not finish until November 16. It has a very intense, austere bouquet with blackberry, cedar, granite and a touch of dried orange peel. It is tightly coiled but unfurls beautifully in the glass, though it retains its rather aloof personality. The palate is medium-bodied with a rounded mulberry and raspberry leaf-infused entry, with bay leaf and graphite underneath. It is linear, focused and precise. It is very harmonious, almost Claret like with great length on the finish that offers a sorbet-like freshness. 96,159 bottles produced. Drink 2016-2030+.
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Bodegas Vega Sicilia

Bodegas Vega Sicilia

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Bodegas Vega Sicilia, Ribera del Duero, Spain
Image of 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

Ribera del Duero

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Ribera del Duero is located in northen Spain’s Castilla y León region, just a 2-hour drive from Madrid. While winemaking in this area goes back more than 2000 years, it was in the 1980s that 9 wineries applied for and were granted Denominación de Origen (D.O.) status. Today, more than 300 wineries call Ribera del Duero home, including some of Spain’s most iconic names.

Notable Facts Ribera’s main grape variety, Tempranillo, locally know 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, the spice, dark fruit and smoky flavors in a bold Ribera del Duero will pair well with roasted and grilled meats, Mexican food and tomato-based sauces.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

SOU297627_1999 Item# 105901