Vega-Sicilia with Pablo Álvarez (Tenzing, Chicago): Crimson color. Exotic nose of fresh cut aloe. Dry, stony palate with lingering notes of Asian spices. This is more subdued than the quite forward 2004. Very Old World in style, this is not immediately arresting but provides subtly pleasurable drinking now.
The nose hear was amazing, an intense mix of raspberry and blackberry liquor, flowers, sweet soy, and licorice. When tasted, this was more bright cherry and spice than the nose indicated, but as it sat in the glass a backing of grilled beef became evident.
An exceptional wine! This is supposed to be a weak vintage, I can't imagine what this beast can do in a big vintage. Deep, almost silky, multilayered nose with its origins written all over the place. Spanish vanilla/dill oak, buttered potatoes, cherries, wild raspberries, sour sausages, a hint of smoke and leather. There are also quite a lot of dried fruit, and that is the only thing I can find that would suggest this is 13 years old.
High, omnipotent intensity that fills every crevasse of the wines (medium+) body. Medium(-) acidity. Incredibly long finish with great balance between the alcohol and the fruit. Dry, but with no tannins to speak of.
Even though this is clearly young and there is still a bit of woody oak on the palate to smoothen out, this is in no way closed and was drinking very well tonight!
Although this was a good bottle, somehow it paled next to the 2005 Chave Hermitage we opened with it. The wine is deep in color and very pure, with a clean fruit-driven nose and a ripe, soft palate. I found the finish a little short, but mostly I found the wine to be lacking in real distinctive character. I've had Unico in the past a few times and to me this was a kind of cleaned-up Unico. You can do much better at a much lower price. I'll call this 94+? because perhaps I've managed to hit it too soon, or on a bad evening...
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