Spain - 2004 - Vega Sicilia Unico - 3x75

  • Region: Spain
  • Vintage: 2004
  • Rating: 97
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Tasting Notes

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