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FICOFI: Vega Sicilia Unico 2005, 2006, 2007 & Riserva Especial 2016, 2017

April 18, 2018

These notes stem from a FICOFI event at Forlino’s, One Fullerton Singapore, on 26 February 2018 with Pablo Alvarez in attendance. It was just as well that we did not drink any Vega Sicilia when we hosted Pablo to a private lunch the day before, for the lineup this evening was quite generous, offering a mini-vertical of successive vintages of the Unico as well as two bottlings of the Especial, which is seldom encountered. It goes without saying that Unico needs plenty of bottle age, two to three decades being the norm at least. Therefore, it’s not surprising these wines are still tight at this early stage though they certainly hold plenty of promise. Let them sleep.

20180226_211954.jpg1998 Dom Perignon P2. This Second Plenitude of D.P. displays green fruits, melons and pomelo with a dash of bitter lemon on the nose though shy at first, gradually yielding more yeasty tones and earthiness, opening up with fine depth, acidity and balance. Excellent.

2012 Vega Sicilia Tinto Valbuena no.5. Made of 100% tempranillo, this wine showed an impenetrable deep dark inky red, proffering dark currants and raspberries on the nose, slightly forward in fruit intensity and balance, layered with excellent depth and detail of graphite minerals, dark chocolate and licorice with a certain raciness. Very fine. Consistent with a previous tasting in July 2017.

2004 Vega Sicilia Tinto Valbuena no.5. Equally deep in tint with just a hint of evolution, stuffed with dark fruits, raspberries and bright red plums with a prominent core of tangerines, fleshy and deft with open textures amidst early complexity though not showy at all. A study in understated elegance. This is a blend of 90% tempranillo with a sprinkling of merlot, highly consistent with a previous tasting in July 2017.


2007 Vega Sicilia Unico Riserva. Deep impenetrable red, proffering a darkish tone of mocha and licorice, slightly racy, densely layered with dark red fruits, excellent in ripeness and detail, underscored  by understated acidity and earthiness, structured with chewy tannns. More masculine now compared with previous tastings in July 2017 and 2015. Great potential.

2006 Vega Sicilia Unico Riserva. Unique bouquet, more of earth, toffee and mocha, open but narrower in profile on the medium-bodied palate. Quite seamless with gentle tones and sweet tannins that became more pronounced and accentuated over time but essentially primal, yet to develop further.

2005 Vega Sicilia Unico Riserva. This wine exudes a heady fragrance of dark cherries, red currants and cinnamon, displaying excellent presence and depth of glorious fruit with rounded velvety tannins, highly seamless in its impeccable balance between fruit and sublime acidity that combined to produce a superb mouthfeel of immense succulence. Absolutely delicious. No wonder Vega Sicilia took such a long time to release this beauty. Lots of great potential ahead. Consistent with a previous note in July 2017 when it was first released. Outstanding.


2017 Unico Riserva Especial. Very dark and essentially shut, though the palate is lit by dark roses and cherries with a lovely lift and depth, rather understated in acidity and intensity that exuded a gentle and elegant demeanour, finishing with a dash of earthiness. Plenty of promise here but yet to unfurl its true beauty.

2016 Unico Riserva Especial. More open than the preceding wine, proffering feminine tones of cherry blossom, dark roses and red currants, highly lifted, layered with gentle tones of mocha and licorice, displaying great fluidity and fine gritty detail with understated intensity, finishing well with a long minty glow. Excellent.

2005 Ch D’Yquem. Dense overtones of nectarine and apricot amidst an air of heavy petroleum fumes, displaying superb concentration of fruit that recalled smouldering ember and cider supported by firm stony minerals, culminating in a stern lengthy finish.



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