2004, Vega Sicilia, Unico

Ribera del Duero, Castilla y Leon, Spain

(Priced at per bottle)


Score: 97

Drinking Dates: 2016-2029

Critic: Luis Gutiérrez

Tasted: 28-Aug-2014

Neal Martin had already tasted the 2005 Único in 2012, before I joined The Wine Advocate, but then they released 2007 and 2008 before and the 2005 has been kept until now, as they thought the vintage required some more time in bottle. It's mostly Tempranillo with some 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, fermented with indigenous yeasts in oak vats and aged for almost six years in 225-liter French and American oak barrels and 20,000-liter oak vats. The extra time in bottle has helped the wine to develop its bouquet, and it feels very aromatic and open, with the classical Vega Sicilia perfume of yesteryear, earthy, leafy and spicy, even if they wine was kept because of its power. It's still powerful, but at the same time it's elegant and has a polished mouthfeel and fine-grained tannins. 93,545 bottles, 2,391 magnums, 146 double magnums and six imperials produced. It was bottled in June 2011. Next year they will release the 2006, and the following vintage to be released in 2019, will be 2009. Further than that they don't know, as the only newer vintage in bottle today is 2010 and they are about to bottle 2011 now. 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.