An after X- mas wine evening: drunk after the 88 Valbuena......., very, very young appearance of this bottle, very fresh, acid driven, some mineralic and spicy hints, all very subdued, black fruit, very long, but airated for hours in a decanter the wine did not start blossoming, very long aftertaste, but...... at the moment I am missing the fun factor Unicos normally are showing, this specific bottle would have needed a decade+ more of..... cellaring, *(***- ?), 90- 96+- ?
This is a rare Vega that drinks well young with all the beautiful characteristics of this wine on display - dark fruits with complex mineral and graphite notes on the strong but ultra-smooth finish. This has really smooth, polished tannins which is probably why it can be drunk now but should last on it's balance and power. 94+
@ Sampler Tasting 04/2014 - aged in 50% French/50% American new oak! then used barrels and then large vats for a total of 6-8 years. Finally 3 years in bottle prior to release. Exciting palate although a slightly muted nose. Herbal spiciness and vibrance. Feels fresh. More to come but lovely already.
A private lunch (Restaurant Rekondo, Donostia San-Sebastian, Spain): Mature but lively appearance, rich colour, browning on the edges; very distinctive nose, deep and rich but transparent and pure, spicy and mature, soft red fruit and cigar box, hint of mocha, wonderful balsamic quality from the wood; the palate is extremely stylish, silky, intense but so precise, wonderfully pure raspberry fruit, very fresh and imbued with great mineral energy, perfectly integrated tannins that will need a few more years to mellow; smoky finish, excellent length.
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The last parcel to arrive today was a hefty one (in pedigree, not actual weight). Below are recent releases from the Vega Sicilia family at the lowest prices I can muster. Yes, you will find 2003's below but (unlike the Plague) these are more than worth your attention. I think people will be very surprised by the serious nature of the Valbuena, it's a top-tier effort all around.
All have impeccable provenance and will be available for local pick up in a few weeks:
2003 Pintia (Toro)
2003 Vega Sicilia "Valbuena 5 Anos" (Ribera del Duero)
(This wine is particularly impressive, it contains a second dimension that I only associate with the finest examples in the world - JR)
1996 Vega Sicilia "Unico" (Ribera del Duero)
All are EXTREMELY LIMITED at this price
Jon Rimmerman Garagiste Seattle, WA Spain6110 Spain6120 Spain6130
(Vega Sicilia Unico) has not been released, nor will it be until 1998, and this was the first public tasting of this wine ever. It is always nice to be a slice of history, as small a piece as it may be. The nose was sexy with plum, black fruits, vanilla Hershey's kisses and great tobacco. Very creamy in its vanilla qualities with elegant tannins and alcohol, some peanut butter sweetness emerged in a toll house way. The mouthfeel was full and round, and its finish big with lots of acidity. Flavors of grape, plum, vanilla bean, Spanish oak and leather graced my palate with a young and shy temperament. The acidity kicked in like a race car moving into a faster gear. Pablo told us that the wine would not be released until 2008 at the earliest, that it was bottled three years ago, and that he thinks it will be amongst the all-time great Unicos. The 1996 had 'so much cigar' as Bipin noted, and it did in that top notch Cuban way. Gritty, toasty and spilling out of the glass with its baby fat, the viscosity of the 1996 was clearly not to be taken lightly, even more so than the outstanding 1994
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