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Bodegas Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2006

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Winemaker Notes

Vega Sicilia Valbuena comes from the younger vines and it is mostly made with the varieties of Tempranillo and more Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a garnet cherry red color with orangey undertones. There is an ethereal expression of its alcohol content and the accent of an excellent oxidative evolution, which is the fruit of oak that has been well tanned, a characteristic of Vega Sicilia red wines. Its personality is reminiscent of the varieties used, with a hint of ripe red fruit.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Valbuena is a blend of 80% Tempranillo with 20% Merlot and Malbec. It has great volume and intensity on the nose, yet it is never overbearing. Fragrant aromas of maraschino, dark plum and orange peel are extremely pure and upon further examination, there is an attractive seam of minerality. The palate is medium-bodied with a supple, citrus-fresh entry. Crisp delineation, edgy dark cherry and cassis flavors intermingled with sour lemon that leads to a very assertive, angular finish. It will require two or three years to smooth out the edges but it will be fascinating to plot its evolution. Drink 2015-2028.
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Bodegas Vega Sicilia

Bodegas Vega Sicilia

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Bodegas Vega Sicilia, Ribera del Duero, Spain
2006 Valbuena
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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As a one of Spain’s leading regions, Ribera del Duero is an icon of growth and innovation whereas its brother, Rioja, represents tradition. While winemaking goes back 2,000 years, only in the 1980s did a small handful of—now iconic—wineries make the region’s potential known to the discerning consumer.

In 1982 a mere nine producers of Ribera del Duero grouped together to achieve the Denominación de Origen (D.O.) status. Ever since then the region has boomed and today over 300 wineries exist.

Bodegas vega sicilia is on the western edge of the denomination and has been producing one of Spain's finest wines since the mid 19th century. Other iconic producers include Pesquera and Dominio de Pingus.

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 soil types give Ribera wines a distinctive depth and complexity. Furthermore, the D.O. laws allow for blending of Tinto Fino with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, a concept introduced by Vega Sicilia 130 years ago. Ribera del Duero red wines have characteristics of dried fig and sweet tomato, cherry and plum with spices of cedar, clove, tobacco, dill, vanilla and leather. A bold structure and smoky aromas make them perfect with anything off the grill, roasted meats and aged cheeses.

Albillo is the white grape of the area and Garnacha produces the region’s rosé.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

YAO161798_2006 Item# 161798

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