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Flat front label of wine

Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico Tinto 2002

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

Vega Sicilia Unico comes from the older vines on the estate and is made with the varieties of Tempranillo and more Cabernet Sauvignon than Merlot. Although it is old, the red wine maintains its liveliness thanks to its good acidity level compensated by solid alcohol content. It has an intense ripe cherry color, with the lively edge of a wine that is always at its best. The aroma prevails with hints of roast from the wood, and touches of hazelnut from its oxidative evolution from its years in the cask. It has generous tastes of old but clean wood, with dry tannins that are pleasantly embittered by the oak, together with the sensation of its light sweetness of its alcohol. It is a pedigree wine with a long, lasting taste.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Having skipped over releasing a 2001 due to frost damage, the 2002 Unico is a result of a severe selection as attested by the label which shows that just 42,932 bottles were produced instead of 108,536 in 2000. It has an incredibly intense nose, much more linear and focused than the more flamboyant 2000, with scents of dark cherry, creme de cassis and a touch of honey and melted dark chocolate. The palate is medium-bodied with a slight grainy texture on the entry, a hint of cooked meat inflecting the layers of toasty dark berry fruit. It is very harmonious and perhaps at this juncture, edgier and grittier than the millennial Unico. It is less opulent and more structured than the 2000, but is a more cerebral wine. Drink 2020-2040+.
W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
A selection of tinto fino from vines over 40 years old (some close to 90) blended with a small percentage of cabernet and merlot, this red comes from a careful selection of grapes in a very rainy harvest. And the results are brilliant. Here the aromas of chocolate and sweet spice blend with scents of black cherries and nuts; the wine is vibrant in acidity, but also powerful and sweet, like oranges dipped in chocolate.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Maturing now, this polished red offers cherry, herbal, tobacco and menthol flavors over firm, well-integrated tannins, with a long cedar and floral finish. Graceful and harmonious.
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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.

FBR109403_2002 Item# 117305