A private dinner (Restaurant Elkano *, Getaria, Spain): Very expressive and impressive nose, open for business, rich, deep and complex, oak and fruit, roasted tomato, hint of balsamic, spice box, warm but nothing overripe or raisiny; velvety texture, rich and powerful but not tarry, beautifully balanced and fresh, savoury, ripe but firm, finely-grained tannins sheathed in flesh, stylish, hint of vanilla; excellent length. A resounding success in a very challenging vintage. A stunning drink right now and the perfect foil for Elkano's famous whole grilled turbot. It should live happily for another two decades at least.
Vega-Sicilia with Pablo Álvarez (Tenzing, Chicago): Crimson color. Massively meaty nose with ripe tomato and baking spice aromas. This has a palate that incorporates a densely floral, perfumed flavor, finishing with smooth and well-integrated but supportive tannins. Surprising and superb, this is the equal of the similarly intriguing 2004 and better than the more reticent 2002. I would gratefully enjoy this for the next decade, given the chance.
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(Bodegas Vega-Sicilia Ribera del Duero Único) Dark red violet color; lifted, licorice, dark chocolate, chocolate cake, tobacco nose; rich, medium-plus bodied, creamy textured, tart black fruit, roasted black fruit, tar, roast coffee, tart dark chocolate palate with good acidity; long finish 93+ points
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