Spain

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Region Vintage Name Qty Unit Size Price Note Rating
Spain 2001 Palomero Ribero del Duero - 6x75 1 Case 75cl
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  • The profound 2001 Palomero boasts an opaque ruby/purple color as well as an extraordinary perfume of sweet saddle leather, smoke, herbs, blackberries, creme de cassis, truffles, and graphite. One of the most prodigious Ribera del Dueros I have tasted, it offers great precision, fabulous concentration, and a long, 40+ second finish. Anticipated maturity: now-2016.

Tasting Notes
96
Spain 2003 Vega Sicilia Unico - owc 6x75 1 Case 75cl
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  • Vega Sicilia's 2003 Unico, mainly Tempranillo with a balancing 8% of Cabernet Sauvignon, was aged in wood for nearly seven years before being bottled, starting with 15 months in large oak vats, followed by 25 months in new barriques, before being transferred to used ones for another 17 months and ending its elevage with a further 22 months in those large wood vats again. As I uncork the bottle, the aroma reminds me of a classical Tempranillo, with some dill notes from the American oak and a minty hint from the Cabernet. It actually makes me think of traditional Rioja, believe it or not. The wine doesn't show the heat of the vintage, and manages to transmit a general sensation of balance and finesse that is quite remarkable for the characteristics of the year. The aim here was to avoid the confited and raisiny notes of the fruit and the spirity character so common in that vintage. It starts off slightly lactic, with notes of cafe au lait, coconut and cola. With a bit of time, it turns more flowery and shows more red fruit. It is very aromatic, with plenty dry herbs, thyme and rosemary, even pine nuts, a bit of resin and some cured meat, and overall has a very complex nose. The mouth is a little more transparent toward the heat of the vintage, it is powerful and full-bodied, but manages to keep freshness. The minty note is there, with some hints of chalk that make it very tasty. It feels briary and opulent. A success over the vintage conditions, it already shows some signs of complexity, which points at an approachable Unico. Even though it can be drunk now, it will get more polished and integrated with a few years in bottle. 76,050 bottles and 2,616 magnums were filled (on the low-ish side for Unico), but the magnums will be sold later; they are currently offering 2000 in magnum and 1999 in double-magnum. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023.

    Score: 94 Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (207), June 2013

    Inky ruby. Highly aromatic scents of ripe cherry and dark berries, singed plum, cured tobacco and succulent herbs, with a vanilla undertone. Sweet, expansive and powerful, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors with smoke and floral accents. Rich and full but surprisingly lively, with excellent finishing thrust and sweet, harmonious tannins adding grip. Shows the ripeness of the vintage to good effect; this is a somewhat approachable and exotic Unico, especially with some air, but it has the concentration to age slowly.

    Score: 95 Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, October 2013

Tasting Notes
94
Spain 2004 Vega Sicilia Unico - owc 6x75 1 Case 75cl
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  • Moving on to the big guns, the 2004 Unico is truly spectacular, in line with the 1970 and 1994. It's a blend of 87% Tempranillo and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon. Unico has a unique long aging, in the case of the 2004, 15 months in 20,000-liter vats, 25 month in new barrels, 17 months in used barrels and a further 26 months in the big oak vats. It has complex notes of tobacco, cedar wood and blackberries, and shows very good balance between power and elegance as well as perfect ripeness. It has a similar profile to the 1994, but there's ten years difference in experience and technical knowledge. There is nuance; there is detail, filigree, balance, harmony and complexity. There is a fine texture. In short, it is a great, world-class wine, a superb vintage for Unico. 87,500 bottles, 2,229 magnums, 150 double magnums and 5 Imperials were filled with this extraordinary wine. This is approachable now, but it's a shame to drink so soon. It will age for a very long time, as it has the balance and harmony to do so, and it will develop more complexity with time. Drink 2016-2029. But if the single harvest Unico is fantastic, the multi-vintage blend could be even better as it also plays with the benefit of extra aging time.

    Score: 97 Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (214), August 2014

    Pablo Alvarez described 2004 as a textbook vintage with perfect temperatures and rain just when it was needed. The 2004 has a haunting bouquet of dark brambly black fruit, cassis, honey, a tang of marmalade and bacon fat. It already boasts an intense, burly bouquet that will require years to soften. The palate is full-bodied with succulent, ripe, intense black cherries, white pepper, minerals and liquorice and it fans out beautifully towards the finish with tar-tinged black fruit interlaced with black pepper. This is a multi-dimensional Unico, more masculine and grander than the 2005, perhaps the sibling of the 1994?

    Score: 97 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (202), August 2012

    (roughly 85% tempranillo and 15% cabernet sauvignon; aged for a total of seven years in large oak vats, new small barrels, used small barrels and large oak vats to rest before bottling, in that order): Inky ruby: doesn't look like a ten-year old wine. A heady, intensely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red and dark berries, vanilla, pipe tobacco, new leather and potpourri, with a subtle mineral flourish. Spicy, sweet and expansive, offering palate-staining cherry compote and cassis flavors with exotic violet and chewing tobacco qualities. Deepens and gains spiciness on the smooth, gently tannic finish, which lingers with superb focus and tenacity.

    Score: 96 Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, September 2014

    Dark purplish crimson. Actually this smells more obviously ripe and opulent than the 2005, perhaps because of its seductive and already complex undertow. Beautiful completeness. So beautifully balanced that it is already alluring, even if it refines and dries a bit on the finish. Really stunning - explosive! Mineral finish.

    Score: 19.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, June 2012

Tasting Notes
97
Spain 2007 Vega Sicilia Unico 1 Case 75cl
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  • Javier Ausás, chief winemaker of Vega-Sicilia, describes his 2007 Unico thus - 'it's not a wine, it's a miracle'! This is not far from the truth considering how challenging the 2007 vintage was in his beloved region of Ribera del Duero. You will know that great wineries make great wines in the most combative conditions - this is what sets them apart. Vega-Sicilia is Spain's greatest win and so I expected to taste a stunning wine at the launch of this iconic estate's new releases and I was not disappointed. Unico is undoubtedly a more forward proposition than other recent releases. This is usually the case in cooler, rainy years. But Vega still sports aromatic complexity that the Bordelais would kill for with exceptional detail and suave delivery. This is not a big wine but a mellow, long, profound Unico with calmness and control at its core. The tannins are powdery and fit and show no signs of closing down the wine, in fact they almost seem to urge it forwards. The fruit is typically noble and dark but there is no excess alcohol or brawn which can usually be detected in youthful Unico. In short, this is a wine for relatively early drinking, which will reward connoisseurs of this estate. It is also a wine to charm those of you who might not have encountered Vega-Sicilia before on account of its genial welcome and elegant composure. (2020 - 2030)

    Score: 18.5+ Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, March 2015

Tasting Notes
18
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