VEGA SICILIA UNICO 2004, VALBUENA DE DOUERO, SPAIN
LCBO PRICE: $489
Throughout its history, Vega Sicilia has belonged to different owners. The Estate began its winemaking operations in 1864, when Eloy Lecanda established a winery. He decided to experiment with the local Tempranillo and the French varieties that he acquired in the Bordeaux region of France; 18.000 shoots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Pinot Noir. From the very beginning, the winery represented the Golden Legend of Spanish Red Wine.
The second owner of Vega Sicilia was the Herrero family (with Domingo Garraiola) who was the driving force behind the creation of two exceptional wines: Valbuena and Vega Sicilia. The distribution of the first bottles was never for commercial purposes but rather for the aristocracy and select members of upper-class Bourgeoisie. They were exclusive wines that simply couldn’t be bought with money, but only through friendship.
In 1982, David Álvarez along with his sons and daughters purchased the property as an investment. Many tasks lay ahead before it could bear fruit, including renovating both the property and the vineyards, while checking and controlling plots of older vines, and remaining true to the ageing tradition needed to guarantee the unique character of the Vega Sicilia wines.
Since then, Vega Sicilia has carried out further investments in its wine-making business, setting up Alión winery in 1991 in the Ribera Del Duero region, acquiring the Tokaj Oremus winery in Hungary in 1993 and finally starting Pintia winery in the Toro region of Spain in 1997.
Defined as an authentic Spanish wine, the Vega Sicilia character not only comes from the top-quality grapes used, the passion and rigour involved in its crafting, but also, and above all else, from the care for detail that the Alvarez family has transferred to its wines.
This Vega Sicilia Unico 2004 is a blend of approximately 87% Tempranillo (locally known as Tinto Fino) and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon.
In the glass, it is a very dark ruby red colour with sexy slow-moving legs.
On the nose, it is vibrant and generous with prunes, roasted meat, cured black olives, ripe red fruit and a little campfire smoke.
On the palate, it is opulent, expansive and velvety in texture. Full of sun kissed ripe berry fruit, smoke, clove, dried herb and earthy notes. The soft tannins are in complete harmony with the acidity and the finish is luxurious and seemingly endless.
If romance was a wine, it would be Vega Sicilia…
It was served to me with a dish of braised bison short ribs. The top of the meat had a beautiful caramelized sticky glaze and the sweetness of it was superb and accentuated the fruitiness of the wine. Truly memorable!