1999 Vega Sicilia Unico Gran Reserva

Year: 1999
Appellation: Ribera del Duero
Country: Spain
Wine Spectator: 94
Wine Advocate: 92
Vinous Media: 96
Red Wine
Price :
$350.00
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"Elegant and expressive, this supple, traditional red shows cherry, floral, vanilla and mineral notes that are both harmonious and intense. Not a blockbuster, but remains fresh and alluring through the spicy finish. Drink now through 2014. 8,500 cases made. –" (WS)

"The 1999 Unico is a blend of 90% Tinto Fino and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 21-months in large wooden vats, twenty months in new barrel, seventeen months in semi-new barrels and then 24 months in large wooden casks. The harvest was interrupted by downpours and did not finish until November 16. It has a very intense, austere bouquet with blackberry, cedar, granite and a touch of dried orange peel. It is tightly coiled but unfurls beautifully in the glass, though it retains its rather aloof personality. The palate is medium-bodied with a rounded mulberry and raspberry leaf-infused entry, with bay leaf and graphite underneath. It is linear, focused and precise. It is very harmonious, almost Claret like with great length on the finish that offers a sorbet-like freshness. 96,159 bottles produced. Drink 2016-2030+." (WA)

"($450) Ruby-red. Shockingly deep in color for a ten-year-old wine. Explosive aromas of cherry compote, black raspberry, blood orange, Asian spices and smoky minerals. Pure, vibrant and sweet, offering intense cherry and red berry flavors, with tangy mineral spine and an exotic smokiness. Extremely deep but energetic, with a powerful echo of minerals and singed orange on the endless finish. This is remarkably youthful but highly alluring already. (Europvin USA, Van Nuys, CA)" (IWC)

Winery Notes:
To lovers of fine wines, Vega Sicilia needs little introduction. This is by far the most prestigious wine estate in Spain, with an almost mythical reputation for quality and rarity. The property is located 100 miles north of Madrid in the shallow Duero (Douro) river valley on the high remote plateau of Castilla y Léon. The altitude is over 700 metres creating a special climate ; the cold nights and hot days during the crucial ripening period in September largely contribute to the uniqueness of Vega Sicilia. In a good vintage only about 20.000 cases of wine are made and subsequently sold on a strict allocation basis. Demand in Spain alone well exceeds the total quantity available. The grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, first brought to the estate from Bordeaux Grand Cru Classé vineyards in 1864.

The other unique particularity of Vega Sicilia is the long maturation in cask and bottle before release. The Valbuena is only released after 5 years...3 years in cask and 2 years in bottle. The Unico is always at least 10 years old and sometimes as much as 25 years old before release, depending on the quality of the vintage and its capacity to age. The wines are truly remarkable with enormous complexity, intensity and richness. The soft velvety texture, gorgeous mature flavours of black fruit, leather and oak are absolutely unique. Where in the world does one find a wine that is released in confidential quantities only when completely ready to drink?