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Bodegas Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2013

Other Red Blends from Ribera del Duero, Spain
  • W&S95
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14% ABV
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4.7 6 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Valbuena is the pure expression of a red at Vega Sicilia, with an ageing process, from barrel to bottle, which lasts five years and gives its name: Valbuena 5º (5th).

Both new and used 225-liter French and American oak barrels and 8.500-liter vats are used for a long and complex process for perhaps, the wine which has evolved the most in the last few years.

Valbuena 5º presents its splendor in each vintage and a direct view of the greatness of its soil, where 140 hectares of land are dedicated to this wine; weather conditions each year make a distinction on the vintage.

Thanks to the extraordinary job in the vineyard and a second year ageing in tanks, today Valbuena 5º 2013 is vibrant and rich.

Blend: 95% Tinto Fino, 5 % Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 95
Wine & Spirits
With five years of aging, first in wood, then in bottle, Valbuena 5 is a young wine by Vega-Sicilia’s standards. The most notable characteristic of the 2013 is its density of flavor, ripe, intense and expansive, yet it’s full of detail, with an emphasis on Mediterranean spice and ripe blackberries. Then, the tension of the acidity seems to give an electric charge to the tannins, making it feel radiant and immediately inviting. But don’t: This is a wine for the cellar. Given the heavy rains at harvest in 2013, it’s a remarkably vibrant Valbuena.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Cropped from an unusually cold and rainy vintage in which they will not bottle Único, the 2013 Valbuena is always released in its fifth year. It's mostly Tempranillo with 5% Merlot that was put through a three- to four-day cold soak in the oak vats where it fermented with indigenous yeasts and was pumped over. It matured in new and used 225-liter French and American oak barriques and also in 20,000-liter oak vats, where the larger vessels respect the fruit, especially in a more fragile vintage like 2013. It's a very elegant and fresh Valbuena with a developed nose, quite classical with a fine texture, elegant tannins and a supple, long finish where the oak is still quite obvious. I liked it very much and consider it a triumph over the challenges of the year.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
A polished texture carries focused flavors of cherry, licorice, espresso and mineral in this lithe red. The tannins are firm and well-integrated, the acidity clean and fresh. Has muscle, but remains elegant. Drink now through 2023.
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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.

GSW0001_2013_2013 Item# 434556