2000 Unico, Bodegas Vega Sicilia, Ribera del Duero

2000 Unico, Bodegas Vega Sicilia, Ribera del Duero

Red, Ready, but will improve   Red | Ready, but will improve | Vega Sicilia | Code: 952589 | 2000 | Spain > Ribera del Duero | Tempranillo/Tinto Fino | Full Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol

Prices: 

New To BBX

Bottle 3 x 75cl

1cs

£600.00

BBX

Bottle 3 x 75cl

1cs

£800.00

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Scores and Reviews

WA

98/100

WA - In the absence of a 2001 Unico, Vega Sicilia has re-released the 2000 Unico; deep crimson-colored with an ethereal perfume aided by its extended upbringing. Aromas of Asian spices, lavender, incense, truffle, and confiture of black fruits are compelling. Sweet, forward, rich, and hedonistic, it nevertheless has the balance and structure to continue evolving for another 5-10 years. In strong vintages Vega Sicilia drinks well at age 50 and I would expect the same of the 2000.

Bodegas Vega Sicilia’s Valbuena receives 3 years in barrel and 2 years in bottle prior to release. Each year Vega Sicilia releases a small amount of a multi-vintage Unico Reserva Especial blended to reflect the house style of Vega Sicilia at its very best. The vagaries of vintage are blended away leaving a wine that is, in my opinion, better than any of the single vintage wines except in the very greatest years. It is a fascinating exercise to taste the Unico beside the Reserva Especial.(Jay Miller - Wine Advocate - Jun 2011)

The Story

Vega Sicilia

Producer

Vega Sicilia

Vega Sicilia, Spain's "first growth"; and most prestigious wine estate, is located in Ribera del Duero, beside a highway east of Valladolid. The estate covers around 1000 hectares, of which 230 - 250 are under vines. It was founded in 1864 by Don Eloy Lecanda y Chaves, who arrived from Bordeaux with cuttings of local grapes (Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec) and planted them, together with Spain's signature grape Tinto Fino (clone of Tempranillo) in the arid Ribera soils.

The winery begun building its formidable reputation after 1903 under the ownership of Antonio Herrero, winning a number of awards, and enjoying an international distribution. The estate changed hands several more times before its acquisition by the current owners, the Alvarez family, in 1982.

Vega Sicilia has founded its success on its meticulous wine-producing practices: In the vineyard it applies low yields, aided by green harvesting, and a painstaking grape selection. In the winery, wines undertake a complicated series of rackings from huge barrels to new and old oak. Despite the very prolonged barrel ageing, e.g. the 1970 Unico has over 16 years, the wine flavours are never dried out or overly oaky when mature, which is compelling evidence of the superb quality of its raw materials.

The Vega Sicilia range includes 3 cuvees: Unico (";unique";) is the flagship, followed by Reserva Especial a blend of top vintages, both made up of Tinto Fino ( 80%), Cab. Sauv and little Merlot, and  traditionally of 10 years ageing. Nowadays the wine maker, Javier Ausas ages the Unica wines for only 5-6 years, before bottling.

Valbuena is made from younger vines, and in years when Unico is not produced grapes normally destined for Unico will go into Valbuena. It is only released after 5 years' ageing. Spain's "Chateau Latour" has illustrious history, a sense of place, immense respect for tradition and immaculate winemaking. It has laid the foundation for what has become one of the best wine-making regions in Spain, Ribera del Duero.

The nearby Bodegas Alion estate is the innovative addition to Vega's portfolio. It produces a high quality wine for drinking young. Vega Sicilia also owns the Hungarian Tokay estate Oremus, as well the Toro Bodegas Pintia

Grape

Tempranillo/Tinto Fino

Tempranillo/Tinto Fino

A high quality red wine grape that is grown all over Spain except in the hot South - it is known as Tinto Fino in Ribera del Duero, Cencibel in La Mancha and Valdepenas and Ull de Llebre in Catalonia. Its spiritual home is in Rioja and Navarra where it constitutes around 70% of most red blends.

Tempranillo-based wines tend to have a spicy, herbal, tobacco-like character accompanied by ripe strawberry and red cherry fruits. It produces fresh, vibrantly fruit driven "jovenes" meant for drinking young. However Tempranillo really comes into its own when oak aged, as with the top Riojas  where its flavours seem to harmonise perfectly with both French and American oak, producing rich, powerful and concentrated wines which can be extraordinarily long-lived.

In Ribera del Duero it generally sees less oak - the exception being Vega Sicilia where it is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and then aged for an astonishing 7 years in oak and is unquestionably one of the world`s greatest wines.

Region

Ribera del Duero

In the last 30 years, Ribera del Duero has emerged from almost nowhere to challenge Rioja for the crown of Spain's greatest wine region. Once known only as the home of Vega Sicilia it now boasts numerous bodegas of outstanding quality like Pesquera, Alion and Condado de Haza.  Ribera del Duero was granted its DO status in 1982, at a time when only nine bodegas were operating there, yet today it has over 170 wineries and more than 18,000 hectares of vines. Most of Ribera del Duero's production is red, with only a modest quantity of rosado produced. No white wines are allowed under the DO.

Ribera del Duero owes its success to a combination of factors: firstly, its terroir of schistous sub-soil bears remarkable similarity to other famous winemaking regions such as the Douro and Prioratot. Secondly, its microclimate, with its high altitude, hot days and cool nights (a phenomenon known as ‘diurnal variation’), ensures ripeness while preserving the vivacity of the fruit, aromatic flavours and refreshing acidity.

Thirdly, it has been blessed with an exceptional native grape, Tempranillo (also known as Tinto del País or Tinto Fino). This yields superb, complex red wines that are delicious when young but which also have the capacity to age into magnificent Gran Reservas. Finally, the immense influence of its winemakers has been key – historically, of course, Vega Sicilia, but more recently Alejandro Fernández, the founder of Pesquera.

Fernández has been at the forefront of the viticultural and winemaking revolution here since his arrival in the late 1970s. The initial breakthrough of his wine Pesquera, so lauded by Robert Parker, saw Tempranillo blended with a little Cabernet Sauvignon, thus injecting further zest and structure into this already fruity wine. Even if most winemakers now use the traditional 100 percent Tempranillo, Fernández's determination to experiment and question has been an inspiration to all.

The same DO rules govern Ribera's barrel-aged styles as for Rioja: Crianzas are aged for two years before release with at least a year in oak barrels; Reservas must be three years old with at least a year spent in oak; and, finally, Gran Reservas must be five years old before going on sale, with two years spent in barrel. The young (joven) unoaked red wines, called Roble, tend to boast a moreish, vibrant, bramble fruit while the best oak-aged styles of Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva show intense, generous fruit, overlaid with notes of vanilla and sweet spice, and wrapped up in polished, elegant tannins.

Recommended producers: Vega Sicilia (including Alion), Alejandro Fernández (Pesquera, Condado de Haza), Pago de los CapellanesPingus

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