The great wines of the world all have two things in common; they pursue the highest quality relentlessly and prove their stature over many decades, if not lifetimes. DRC, Lafite, Latour, and the like are always at top form. One wine which is universally counted in this elite cluster hails from Spain - VEGA SICILIA Unico.
When one studies or visits this historical property (complete with a Roman aqueduct), one theme dominates; attention to detail. As with all the great properties there is only one objective, to make the finest wine possible. All decisions are made with this end goal in mind.
When you meet Pablo Alvarez, the son of the present owner and manager of VEGA SICILIA, you immediately feel the force that is his passion for this special property. He is quietly intense. The best is his only goal, no matter if the results of some effort will not bear fruit in his lifetime! How many properties would plant their own cork trees to control cork quality knowing they can't produce their first harvest for seventy-five years?
World class properties produce wine of authenticity; this means it is unique to their sight and vision. UNICO is best described as producing a classically proportioned Bordelaise expression of primarily Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) blended with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon. The meticulous production of the Tinto Fino results in a medium full expression which reminds one of Right Bank Bordeaux with hints of iron and a solid deep core of fruit. Cabernet ads to the aromatics and the structure to complete the profile. One of the hallmarks of UNICO is extended wood aging; always five years, often seven and sometimes much longer. Total integration of aromas and flavors is the aim, when a vintage is released it can be enjoyed but must also last for many decades.
A more approachable wine, VALBUENA 5 is also produced at the property. This bottling of younger vines receives less bottle aging, it is like a snapshot at five years. Certainly related to it's 'older sibling' just more ready to play. An oft overlooked wine, it is one of the little known 'deals' in the wine world.