The elevage is complex, building from smaller barrels to larger barrels over a period of six years, finishing in larger vats. Then four years in bottle. Non-sequential releasing with the 2005 and 2006 being released after the 2007 and 2008. This 2009 has good ripeness and deep fruit-presence on the nose with rich red and dark plums, subtly earthy spice, cedar and fresh tobacco. There’s terrific concentration on the palate and very ripe dark-plum, blueberry and cherry flavors. The tannins are fresh, very long and carry flavors deep. Natural freshness and effortless power, too - a hallmark of Unico! Very open-knit and approachable now, this will age for two decades easily, and then some more.
I tasted a bottle of the 2009 Único blind and was taken by the freshness, the red fruit notes and the Burgundian-like characteristics of this vintage, which on paper was quite warm and dry. I also tasted the 2009 Valbuena, which is always more approachable, and was blown away by its aromatics. With time in the glass the Único opened up and got closer to the character of Valbuena but with more depth and clout, while showing extremely elegant. I tasted it again in the context of all the wines from the group, and it delivered all that I saw when I tasted it blind. It takes some time to unfurl its aromatic palette, and it feels young and somewhat undeveloped, younger than it is. It has a touch that made me think of the old vintages of Único on the nose but with very polished tannins and a soft mouthfeel that provides elegance. This is a wine that ages for no less than ten years before it's released. 2009 seems like a great vintage for Vega Sicilia, much better than what I anticipated. It should develop nicely in bottle. 74,274 bottles, 3,390 magnums, 209 double magnums and 22 imperials were produced. It has been in bottle since June 2015. (LG)
Given how structured Único is for the long term, this great 2009, the latest vintage to be releases, is delightfully approachable now. On the nose there are delicate notes of red fruits, vanilla and cedar, while in the mouth it’s equally elegant and gloriously supple, with remarkably well-handled tannins. Overall, there's the keynote freshness, which sustains the superbly long finish. Says Gonzalo Iturriaga: ‘This is what Vega Sicilia is all about. It's this complexity, this youth, and also this capacity to age.’ (SJE)
This red is rich yet vibrant, dense yet graceful. Cherry and plum flavors are backed by forest floor, cedar, tobacco and mineral notes, supported by muscular, well-integrated tannins that give way to a spicy, slightly bitter finish. Complex and harmonious. Tinto Fino and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2029. *Collectibles* (TF)
Unico is a selection from Vega-Sicilia’s top benchland parcels of tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon, both varieties part of the original plantings at the estate in the 19th century. The contemporary vines, now an average of 35 years old, are rooted in rocky limestone and quartz gravels at the south end of the estate, with a cool northern exposure; the fruit of those vines ferments spontaneously in wooden vats, then ages in oak barrels for five years, and for more time in bottle. With ten years of age, this 2009 is youthful and dynamic. Beyond the initial scents of oak, you’ll find brisk, tart red cherry and boysenberry fruit energized by the Mediterranean warmth of the tannins. Complex and savory, it’s compelling to drink now, yet will gain beauty with age.
Stewed tea, black cherry, dark chocolate and luxurious spicy notes to finish. Finely milled tannic texture makes this very ready to drink, although the tertiary character is only just emerging. Some mushroom and earthy scent hints at what’s to come. Excellent fruit clarity too. Keeps on going. 19/20 points. (RH)
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