Vega Sicilia Valbuena Ribera Del Duero
The First Growths of Bordeaux, Grand Cru in Burgundy, Opus One in California, the very top wines in the world are few and far between. Vega-Sicilia is considered the sole 'First Growth' equivalent of Spain.
Vega-Sicilia was founded in 1864 by Don Eloy Lecanda y Chaves in a harsh corner of the wine region of Ribera del Duero. While the 'Rioja' wine region is considered one of the great wine regions of Spain, 'Ribera' would certainly produce arguably the best wines in the country. Their top tier wine is the 'Unico', only slightly less prestigious is the 'Valbuena'.
The family owns an impressive 240 hectares of vines, with 140 hectares dedicated to the Unico and Valbuena wines. The vineyards are planted largely with Tempranillo, but also interspersed with Bordeaux grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere and Malbec. Many of the vines are 130-150 years old.
The soils that the Unico and Valbuena wines are grown on are gentle slopes consisting of a fine mix of colluvial deposits from the hillsides above, along with sandy limestone and a layer of quartz gravel beneath. These endure a harsh climate - baking hot and very dry summers and cold winters.
The Valbuena showcases Tempranillo but blended with small amounts of Merlot, and aged for 5 years before release.
“The 2014 Valbuena, mostly Tempranillo with some 5% Merlot fermented by plot, making a selection from their 210 hectares of vineyards, and then matured in a combination of barriques and larger 20,000-liter oak vats. 2014 is a spectacular vintage of Valbuena, and it reminds me of the 2010, perhaps a tad more elegant and less powerful. It's expressive and has floral notes on the nose along with wild berries, herbs and a spicy and smoky touch that's nicely integrated. It has good complexity and nuance, and the palate is medium to full-bodied and intense, with pungent flavors and great length and persistence. Truly spectacular!”
96 pts – Wine Advocate
- Spain - Castilla y Leon
- Red Wine
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