N.V. Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial R17

Year: N.V.
Appellation: Ribera del Duero
Country: Spain
Wine Spectator: 94
Wine Advocate: 95
Vinous Media: 96
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
Price :


Blend of 2003, 2004, and 2006 vintages, R17

"This powerful red needs air to open up the rich, earthy flavors. Tobacco, cedar and spice notes frame a core of cherry and floral notes, backed by muscular tannins. Balsamic acidity keeps this fresh. A blend of wines from the 2003, 2004 and 2006 vintages. Drink now through 2028. 1,400 cases made. –TM " (WS)

"The one non-vintage wine released yearly, as a blend of different harvests, is now the NV 2017 Único Release Reserva Especial, which contains wine from the 2003, 2004 and 2006 vintages-very warm and ripe years in general in Ribera del Duero, especially the 2003. As all recent vintages of Único, it is mainly Tempranillo with a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. It has younger wines than last year's release, which was made up of 1996, 1998 and 2002, and the wine shows it with less developed aromas and a more fruit-forward profile. It has the classical developed Vega Sicilia bouquet, but the newer vintages used this time and the extra bottle time they have given to the 2005 Único (which is released at the same time as this), makes them show similar profiles. What I'm trying to say is that this is certainly younger than the majority of Reserva Especial to date, and the forest floor, spicy and musky aromas are combined with more primary notes of fruit. The palate has the polished texture and the very fine tannins that are the signature of this cuvée, and a very long and tasty finish. It's quite approachable, but should also be able to develop in bottle. 17,117 bottles and 202 magnums were filled in June 2013.

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)

"(this 2017 release was made from a selection that totaled 59 barrels from 2003, 2004 and 2006) Vivid ruby-red. Ripe cherry, dark berries, cigar box, vanilla bean and incense on the deeply perfumed, expansive nose. Shows impressive weight and breadth on the palate, offering sappy blackberry, candied cherry and spicecake flavors complicated by hints of rose pastille, vanilla and licorice. The smooth, strikingly long finish shows a seamless quality and repeating floral and dark berry notes that build as the wine opens up. While this wine has plenty going on right now, I've no doubt that it will enjoy a long, positive evolution as well." (VM)

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 famously 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, sometimes more, upon release. 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 ?