Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico Tinto 2010
The Unico Tinto is the Vega Sicilia flagship. The qualities of the Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon in different proportions are assembled to perfection in this wine. 2010 is a powerful, concentrated and ample vintage. Vega Sicilia Unico 2010 gains nuances, given sufficient time to open. A wine to enjoy long-term.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This is still very tight and closed with so much depth and beauty. The linear line to this is very vertical and draws you down. It shows intense blackberry, dark-chocolate, hazelnut and walnut character. Full body. Chewy yet extremely polished. Precise. Shows decadence.
Opaque violet. Intensely perfumed, expansive black and blue fruit preserve, potpourri, Moroccan spice and botanical herb scents are complemented by smoky mineral and vanilla flourishes. Sappy, penetrating and deeply concentrated on the palate, offering vibrant, mineral-laced black currant, bitter cherry, chewing tobacco, mocha and floral pastille flavors that deepen and turn sweeter on the back half. Shows superb focus and vibrant, floral lift on the wonderfully long, youthfully tannic finish, which leaves behind cherry liqueur, candied violet and spicecake notes. Drinking window: 2027 - 2045.
I was surprised by the aromatics of the 2010 Único, cropped from a powerful and concentrated year that delivered this blend of 94% Tinto Fino (aka Tempranillo) and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 14.5% alcohol and a highish pH of 3.87. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in a combination of French and American oak barrels and 20,000-liter oak vats and aged for almost six years. It feels quite ripe and somehow old style, dominated by ripe black fruit, with a rustic and earthy touch. It has an ample palate, concentrated and powerful, with some earthy tannins.
This red is dense, balanced and complex. Plum, dried currant, cigar box, leather and mineral flavors mingle over ripe, well-integrated tannins. Orange peel acidity keeps this lively through the long, floral finish. Harmonious and graceful, in a classic style. Tinto Fino and Cabernet Sauvignon.
As meaty and gamey as dry-aged filet mignon, this is a complex and sophisticated vintage of Unico. It grows in parcels of old vines rising up a north-facing hillside, the soil flecked with gypsum that has crystalized, glinting amidst the layers of limestone and clay. The wine itself layers cranberry, fig and black-mushroom flavors into its sleek richness and power while the structure remains tight as a drum, even at ten years of age. Built for the long haul.
Few wines have a history as distinguished as that of Vega Sicilia. Founded in the 1860’s, its reputation on its flagship vintage has for more than 100 years produced two great wines, each appropriately named "Único."
It was at Vega Sicilia in Ribera del Duero, two hours from Madrid, that Tempranillo proved its potential for greatness. When the estate's original founder, Don Eloy Lecanda Chaves returned from France with cuttings of Bordeaux varietals, he planted them alongside the indigenous variety, then known simply as Tinto del Pais, or “Country Red”, but today known as Tinto Fino or Tempranillo. Surprisingly, it was the Tempranillo that produced the superior wine.
Today, the market for Vega Sicilia is one of scarcity and increasing demand. Vega Sicilia’s growing fame and desirability is testament not only to the estate’s enduring legacy but to the world’s craving for wines of history and noble bearing. Vega Sicilia's vintage Único, Reserva Especial and Valbuena are such wines.