Since the 2010 harvest, they ferment plot by plot, and it shows. This Valbuena has almost 100 components in it, smaller lots, all of them corresponding to a plot of vines. It has all the signs of being one of the best vintages ever for this second wine from Vega Sicilia, mostly Tempranillo but with 5% Merlot that matured five months in 20,000-liter oak vats, 18 months in new barriques (equal parts French and American oak), three months in used barrels and then five months in the vats again before being bottled in May 2013. 2010 seems to have the exuberance of the 2011 and the seriousness and elegance of 2009. It has the Burgundian philosophy of terroir, with all plots fermented and aged separately, giving each vineyard what it needs in terms of vinification and elevage resulting in something like 40 separate lots to blend. This wine has gained in precision and sharpness, and is very pure with delineated aromas and flavors. It is a world-class wine, possibly the best Valbuena ever. 180,000 bottles and some bigger-sized formats were filled. The wine will be released in 2015. Drink 2016-2025. I tasted the latest three vintages of Valbuena, to get up to speed with what’s in the market. If there’s a wine in their collection that has seen a huge improvement since 1998, it is Valbuena, which had been kind of neglected since the launch of Alion in the early 1990s. For Valbuena, they do not want a second wine in the Bordeaux style. But with the competitive Alion breathing down its
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1986 Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Blanco Gran Reserva Especial Rioja (Pre-Arrival, Elsewhere $700)