Saturated ruby. Explosively perfumed aromas of fresh ripe red fruits, floral oils, pipe tobacco and incense take on sexy vanilla and woodsmoke nuances as the wine opens up. Densely packed yet shockingly lithe on the palate, offering intense cherry liqueur, red currant and spicecake flavors given spine by a core of juicy acidity. Shows superb energy and clarity, finishing sweet, smoky and extremely long; velvety tannins add gentle grip. (JR)
The new release of 2005 Vega Sicilia Único is an absolutely stunning wine in the making, with great depth, precision and vibrancy that augurs very well for its positive evolution in bottle. The bouquet is very pure and still quite primary, wafting from the glass in a nascently complex constellation of black cherries, black plums, Montecristos, raw cocoa, a complex base of soil tones and a masterful base of smoky, gently spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, focused and utterly seamless, with superb depth at the core, impeccable focus and balance and a very long, ripely tannic and youthful finish. This vintage of Único seems to be cut from the same cloth as the more elegant legendary years like 1970 and 1985, but it is still a very young wine and needs at least another decade in the cellar to start to blossom and drink with conviction. (Drink between 2027-2085) 96+
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. (LG)
The N-122 runs like a spine across Ribera del Duero from east to west, separating the Vega Sicilia winery from the Unico vineyards across the road. Those vineyards face north, on undulating slopes rich in chalk, and give wines that can live for decades. That’s the case for this 2005. The concentration of this vintage was so great that Vega Sicilia held the bottles back an extra couple of years; now, that patience has been rewarded with a beautiful, enchanting complexity of aromas and flavors that encompass earth, spice, roses, black fruits and minerals. It still feels tense and energetic, a lively, radiant Unico that will continue to develop for at least a decade in bottle--even though now, sitting in front of a half-empty glass, it is difficult to imagine how it can be better. It can.
Earthy, spicy plum and berry aromas here suggest full ripeness. Tight, scratchy tannins lend the otherwise soft and ripe palate some grip. Lightly oaked flavors of tobacco, dried cherry and raspberry grow more chocolaty and raisiny on the finish. This is an Unico to drink over the next dozen years. *Editor's Choice* (MS)
This polished red offers flavors of tobacco, cedar and leather, with a core of cherry and tea. Firm tannins support the thick, smooth texture, while lively acidity keeps this balanced. Harmonious and long. *Collectables* (TM)
Único is the Vega Sicilia classic, famously built to last, but this vintage is remarkably approachable already. Aromas of truffle and forest floor introduce a bright and warm palate of red berry fruits, lifted by a tangerine acidity and a fine, mineral finish. The 12 years of ageing have achieved smooth and supple tannins that are well integrated. This is not destined to be the most long-lived of Únicos, but is full of pleasure now. 94% Tinto Fino, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. This spent six years in French and American oak, both new and used barrels, and 20,000 litre vats. (JE)
Lots of ripe fruit and layers. Very polished. Pretty density and freshness. Rich and flavorful yet a little loosely knit. Incense, hints of vanilla and flowers. Tight still.
All new oak. Deep leathery garnet with bricky rim. Sweet and leathery on the nose. A hint of undergrowth but still has a surprising amount of fruit. Super-sweet in its fruit and gentle decay, with finest of tannins, just a very fine grain, and that leathery finish. There’s a firm grip even though the tannins are resolved. Deep and firm and incredibly long. Still very much a promise though delicious now. So long. A little more earthy and less elegant than the Reserva Especial and more muscular. 18/20 points (JH)
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