2003 Vega Sicilia Unico
2003 Vega Sicilia Unico:
Vega Sicilia’s 2003 Unico, mainly Tempranillo with a balancing 8% of Cabernet Sauvignon, was aged in wood for nearly seven years before being bottled, starting with 15 months in large oak vats, followed by 25 months in new barriques, before being transferred to used ones for another 17 months and ending its elevage with a further 22 months in those large wood vats again. As I uncork the bottle, the aroma reminds me of a classical Tempranillo, with some dill notes from the American oak and a minty hint from the Cabernet. It actually makes me think of traditional Rioja, believe it or not. The wine doesn’t show the heat of the vintage, and manages to transmit a general sensation of balance and finesse that is quite remarkable for the characteristics of the year. The aim here was to avoid the confited and raisiny notes of the fruit and the spirity character so common in that vintage. It starts off slightly lactic, with notes of cafe au lait, coconut and cola. With a bit of time, it turns more flowery and shows more red fruit. It is very aromatic, with plenty dry herbs, thyme and rosemary, even pine nuts, a bit of resin and some cured meat, and overall has a very complex nose. The mouth is a little more transparent toward the heat of the vintage, it is powerful and full-bodied, but manages to keep freshness. The minty note is there, with some hints of chalk that make it very tasty. It feels briary and opulent. A success over the vintage conditions, it already shows some signs of complexity, which points at an approachable Unico. Even though it can be drunk now, it will get more polished and integrated with a few years in bottle. 76,050 bottles and 2,616 magnums were filled (on the low-ish side for Unico), but the magnums will be sold later; they are currently offering 2000 in magnum and 1999 in double-magnum. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023.
by Luis Gutierrez, Issue #207, June 2013
--The Wine Advocate
BODEGAS VEGA SICILIA Ribera del Duero Unico Gran Reserva 2003:
This red is generous and expressive, delivering dried cherry, tobacco, mineral and spice flavors in a rich, round texture, with a good balance of well-integrated tannins and racy acidity. More harmonious than assertive, but shows plenty of depth. Drink now through 2023.
by Thomas Matthews, September 30, 2013
2003 Bodegas y Vinedos Vega Sicilia Unico Ribera del Duero:
Inky ruby. Highly aromatic scents of ripe cherry and dark berries, singed plum, cured tobacco and succulent herbs, with a vanilla undertone. Sweet, expansive and powerful, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors with smoke and floral accents. Rich and full but surprisingly lively, with excellent finishing thrust and sweet, harmonious tannins adding grip. Shows the ripeness of the vintage to good effect; this is a somewhat approachable and exotic Unico, especially with some air, but it has the concentration to age slowly. 95 points
By Josh Raynolds
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Sep/Oct 13
--Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vega Sicilia is unquestionably a unique wine, and one of the great Spanish classics. Its personality not only comes from the maximum quality of the grape and the rigour involved in its manufacture, but also, and above all, from the care for detail that the Álvarez family has succeeded in transmitting to the wines. From a universal perspective, the peculiar characteristics of Vega Sicilia define it as a very Spanish wine and, in fact, it is one of the national wines that receives respect at the mention of its name. The Vega Sicilia wines enjoy a certain old but stately air, like period furniture; wines with great elegance, finesse, complexity and the ample capacity for maintaining their characteristics in the bottle for a long time.
Unico is the reference wine of Vega Sicilia, although it shares its special character with the rest of the wines from the winery. It comes from the older vines on the estate and is made with the varieties of tempranillo and more cabernet sauvignon than merlot. Although it is old, the red wine maintains its liveliness thanks to its good acidity level compensated by solid alcohol content. It has an intense ripe cherry colour, with the lively edge of a wine that is always at its best. The aroma prevails with hints of roast from the wood, and touches of hazelnut from its oxidative evolution from its years in the cask. It has generous tastes of old but clean wood, with dry tannins that are pleasantly embittered by the oak, together with the sensation of its light sweetness of its alcohol. It is a pedigree wine with a long, lasting taste.
Back to Basket
Back to Listings