2012 Vega Sicilia Valbuena

Year: 2012
Appellation: Ribera del Duero
Country: Spain
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 95
Vinous Media: 93
James Suckling: 94
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
Pre-Order
Price :
$139.95

DUE IN OCTOBER: 2017

NOW $200 LIST PRICE!!

"Tobacco and cedar notes frame dried cherry, plum, loamy earth and menthol flavors in this savory red. Below the polished texture, firm tannins and balsamic acidity lend structure. Old-school, but harmonious and deep. Drink now through 2024. 14,000 cases made. –TM " (WS)

"The 2012 Valbuena was cropped from a vintage with a very dry and warm summer that resulted in very healthy grapes. Since the 2010 vintage, this wine is fermented plot by plot following the findings from a soils study they did. The élevage is in French and American oak barrels that on average lasts some 18 months followed by another 18 months in 20,000-liter oak vats, but of course some lots had more time in barrique and others more time in vat. It has ripe tannins and a powerful mouthfeel but with a soft texture. Even if it's not widely mentioned, it always has had some French grapes, mainly Merlot, but this 2012 is the first Valbuena ever to be really 100% Tempranillo—because the Merlot didn't behave well in this warm and dry year. It follows the path opened by the 2010, more precise and elegant, rounded by that extra time in larger vats to finish polishing the tannins. I find this 2012 halfway between 2010 and 2011. It has depth and elegance, more serious than Alión, which is always the (maybe unfair) comparison. 174,545 bottles and some larger formats were filled in April 2014.

Vega Sicilia is centering its efforts in their vineyards, have done a clonal selection from their own vines and have 26 clones—some of them very old, not only Tempranillo, but also Cabernet Sauvignon. They might start a new trial to produce a white wine, starting by planting the vines, so it will be a long process." (WA)

"(aged for five years in new and used French and American oak barriques and vats) Opaque ruby. Primary dark berry and cherry scents are complemented by suggestions of vanilla, coconut, cured tobacco and cedary oak and accented by a suave floral topnote. Sappy, concentrated and expansive in the mouth, offering sweet black raspberry, cherry-vanilla and candied licorice flavors that are supported by a spine of juicy acidity. Unfolds slowly with air, picking up a spicy quality that carries through the very long, gently tannic finish, which echoes the cherry and coconut notes. Hands off this one for at least a few more years." (VM)

"The depth and intensity to this wine is focused and rich with so much chocolate, coffee and hazelnut character. It is full bodied and very polished with juicy tannins. Light, angular edge. Better in 2019 but already beautiful. " (JS)

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?