Lightly baked and hinting at raisin and fine herbs, the bouquet on this benchmark Spanish red enfolds aromas of tobacco, moss and ripe tomato. In the mouth, it’s elegant and silky but also full and expansive. Flavors of baked berry fruits, baking spices, herbs and cocoa finish with a light coating of toast. This is an amazingly complete, exemplary wine that’s just entering its prime. If past vintages of Unico are an indication, it will age well through 2035. (MS)
Recommended by Jasper Morris MW for a tasting we held together, this just jumped out of the glass. I am giving a drinking date from now, as it is getting on towards 17 years old, but it is still extremely young and has decades ahead of it, with bright black cherry and brambled autumnal fruits in the foreground, with tertiary leather and cigar just beginning to spiral upwards. Voluptuous, powerful, layered, complex, with all the subtle toast, tar, chocolate shavings and smoke hints that you would expect from a wine with such a slow and subtle ageing process (in this case 15 months in 20,000-litre vats, 25 month in new barrels, 17 months in older barrels and a further 26 months in large-sized oak vats). I love it when a legendary wine lives up to the hype, and this more than did so. (JA)
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 … 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. 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. (LG)
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. (JR)
Textbook vintage. No frost. Flowering was perfect. It rained when it should have. Temperature was perfect. We’re advised to save 2004 and drink 2005 first. 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. (JR) 19.5/20
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