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Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico Tinto 2005

Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
  • V97
  • RP96
  • W&S96
  • WS95
  • JS94
0% ABV
  • RP96
  • WS94
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • WE92
  • JS100
  • RP98
  • W&S97
  • WE96
  • WS94
  • WE98
  • RP97
  • WS94
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • WE91
  • RP95
  • W&S94
  • WS93
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • JS97
  • WS94
  • RP92
  • RP98
  • RP96
  • WS92
  • RP95
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4.8 9 Ratings
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4.8 9 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Velvety texture with notes of cigar box on the finish. A splendid wine with the perfect proportion of fruit (plums and berries), tannins and acidity.

Critical Acclaim

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V 97
Vinous
Saturated ruby. Explosively perfumed aromas of fresh ripe red fruits, floral oils, pipe tobacco and incense take on sexy vanilla and woodsmoke nuances as the wine opens up. Densely packed yet shockingly lithe on the palate, offering intense cherry liqueur, red currant and spicecake flavors given spine by a core of juicy acidity. Shows superb energy and clarity, finishing sweet, smoky and extremely long; velvety tannins add gentle grip.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Neal Martin had already tasted the 2005 Único in 2012, before I joined The Wine Advocate, but then they released 2007 and 2008 before and the 2005 has been kept until now, as they thought the vintage required some more time in bottle. It's mostly Tempranillo with some 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, fermented with indigenous yeasts in oak vats and aged for almost six years in 225-liter French and American oak barrels and 20,000-liter oak vats. The extra time in bottle has helped the wine to develop its bouquet, and it feels very aromatic and open, with the classical Vega Sicilia perfume of yesteryear, earthy, leafy and spicy, even if they wine was kept because of its power. It's still powerful, but at the same time it's elegant and has a polished mouthfeel and fine-grained tannins. 93,545 bottles, 2,391 magnums, 146 double magnums and six imperials produced. It was bottled in June 2011. Next year they will release the 2006, and the following vintage to be released in 2019, will be 2009. Further than that they don't know, as the only newer vintage in bottle today is 2010 and they are about to bottle 2011 now.
W&S 96
Wine & Spirits
The N-122 runs like a spine across Ribera del Duero from east to west, separating the Vega Sicilia winery from the Unico vineyards across the road. Those vineyards face north, on undulating slopes rich in chalk, and give wines that can live for decades. That’s the case for this 2005. The concentration of this vintage was so great that Vega Sicilia held the bottles back an extra couple of years; now, that patience has been rewarded with a beautiful, enchanting complexity of aromas and flavors that encompass earth, spice, roses, black fruits and minerals. It still feels tense and energetic, a lively, radiant Unico that will continue to develop for at least a decade in bottle—even though now, sitting in front of a half-empty glass, it is difficult to imagine how it can be better. It can.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
This polished red offers flavors of tobacco, cedar and leather, with a core of cherry and tea. Firm tannins support the thick, smooth texture, while lively acidity keeps this balanced. Harmonious and long. Drink now through 2028.
JS 94
James Suckling
Lots of ripe fruit and layers. Very polished. Pretty density and freshness. Rich and flavorful yet a little loosely knit. Incense, hints of vanilla and flowers.
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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 and a bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions and important throughout most of Spain. Depending on location, it takes on a few synonyms; in Penedès, it is known as Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Furthermore in Portugal, known as Tinta Roriz, it is a key component both in Port and the dry red wines of the Douro. The New World regions of California, Washington and Oregon have all had success with Tempranillo, producing a ripe, amicable and fruit-dominant style of red.

In the Glass

Tempranillo produces medium-weight reds with strawberry and black fruit characteristics and depending on yield, growing conditions and winemaking, can produce hints of spice, toast, leather, tobacco, herb or vanilla.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and good acidity make it extremely food friendly. Pair these 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 naming system is in place to indicate how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release. Rioja labeled Joven (a fresh and fruity style) spends a year or less in oak, whereas Gran Reserva (complex and age-worthy) must be matured for a minimum of two years in oak and three years in bottle before release. Requirements on Crianza and Reserva fall somewhere in between.

SOU469950_2005 Item# 238452