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Vega Sicilia Unico 2005

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The high reputation of Spanish winery Vega Sicilia is well established and ratings from Winemag.co.za are unlikely to influence the market but it is of course useful to taste these wines in order to remind oneself of why they have become icons in the world of wine and also obtain a sense of how South Africa’s best compares.

Importer Great Domaines has been hosting Vega Sicilia head Pablo Álvarez in South Africa and he presented a tasting to media, sommeliers and winemakers in Stellenbosch on Friday. There were seven wines from the five estates that the company owns but inevitably it was the Valbuena and Unico from Vega Sicilia in the Ribera del Duero that made the biggest impression.

Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5 2012
Price: R1 695
100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo). Aged for five years in new and used French and American oak barrels and 20 000-litre vats. The nose shows floral perfume, red and black fruit plus some attractive oak-derived character. The palate possesses lovely composure – great fruit density and mouth-coating tannins, the finish extraordinarily long and dry finish.

Editor’s rating: 93/100.

Vega Sicilia Unico 2005
Calibration exercise.

Vega Sicilia Unico 2005
Price: R4 225
94% Tinto Fino, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. Matured for almost six years in French and American oak barrels and 20 000-litre oak vats. A subtle and elusive nose of red fruit, earth and spice. The palate is beautifully proportioned and super-detailed – pure fruit, lovely bright acidity and ripe tannins. The finish is long and dry with an umami-like quality evoking mushrooms, meat and tomato cocktail.

Editor’s rating: 96/100.

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