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Bodegas Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2009

Other Red Blends from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Valbuena red has aged for less time than the Vega Sicilia Único. It is a wine that comes from the younger vines and, it is mostly made with the varieties of tempranillo and more merlot than cabernet sauvignon. It has the garnet cherry red color of its older brother, with orange undertones, the 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, which is a characteristic of the company's red wines. Its personality is reminiscent of the varieties used, with a hint of ripe red fruit. In the mouth, it has less structure than the Vega Sicilia Único, but holds the complexity of the wine-fruit association.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Valbuena was harvested early, the result of a warm summer. It’s mostly Tempranillo complemented with 5% Merlot. The wine matured for five months in 20,000-liter oak vats, 16 months in new barriques (equal parts French and American oak), four months in used barrels and then four more months in the vats before being bottled in May 2011. 180,000 bottles produced. It has some reductive notes and would benefit from some time in a decanter, where you’d start appreciating its background of cherries which feels very classical and serious. The palate is well-built, with polished tannins, very good acidity and freshness with elegance and fine tannins. Mature and with good typicity.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This is the best Valbuena since 2005, and it may be better than that. Exotic aromas of leather, lemon peel, sawdust and boysenberry come in front of a tannic but lively and intricate palate. Baked, heady flavors of black fruits, pepper and mocha finish with chocolate and vanilla as well as juicy acidity.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Tobacco, cedar and sanguine notes mingle with dried cherry, spice and orange peel flavors in this firm red. The floral finish blooms pleasantly, showing harmony and depth. A traditional style.
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Bodegas Vega Sicilia

Bodegas Vega Sicilia

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Bodegas Vega Sicilia, Ribera del Duero, Spain
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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.

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 enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. 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.

FBR112576_2009 Item# 133144