Vega Sicilia

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    2017 Pintia

    RP 94+

    Toro (almost) didn't suffer the frost of 2017 that decimated Ribera del Duero, and in that early harvest, the grapes for the 2017 Pintia were picked between September 6th and 17th trying to keep the freshnessand acidity.

    They also did a softer extraction, reduced the percentage of wine that went through malolactic in barrel and used less American oak for the élevage, trying to achieve a more elegant wine. Still the wine is ripe, juicy, round and powerful at 15% alcohol, with a mellow palate with a pH of 3.9 and 4.5 grams of acidity.

    The wine matured in new and used oak barrels for 12 months. It feels quite fresh and harmonious, not showing any heat. not as fresh and atypical as 2016. It keeps the poise and the balance and has abundant but fine tannins. These wines repay time in bottle, and even if approachable now, it should get better with time. It's like a refined version of the 2015. A triumph over the adverse conditions of the year.

    € 57,50 per fles

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    2017 Macán

    RP 93

    2017 was a very challenging year, as most of their vineyards in San Vicente de la Sonsierra in Rioja were affected by frost, unlike others in nearby Laguardia. Not only was it frost, but they also had hail later on in the season.

    Quantities suffered - they told me they lost 70% of the crop in Rioja that year - but they were happy about the quality of the 2017 Macán, being very careful with the fermentation and separating the press wine by quality. The 4.000-liter oak foudres helped to polish the tannins, and they used 50% new barrels. The élevage lasted 16 months.

    It's a little riper than the Clásico from 2018 that I tasted next to it, with a little more alcohol (14.5%) and mellow acidity.

    € 69,95 per fles

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    2018 Alión

    RP 95+

    The 2018 Alión follows the path of the 2016: it is fresh and elegant and from a cooler (more Atlantic) vintage with more rain than the average and relatively late harvest between September 28th and October 12th.

    They used 80% new barrels, with up to 10% made of American oak looking to (in their own words) give more sucrosity and sweetness to the wine, as it's a more vertical, tense and elegant expression of Alión. Part of the wine matured in concrete (something they started in 2016), and in 2021 they are experimentig with a 4.000-liter Rousseau foudre, as they want to keep working the texture and freshness.

    The wine is ripe at 15% alcohol and has a pH of 3.8 and a mellow 4.6 grams of acidity, round and soft. The wine matured until it was bottled in June 2020. The truth is that the wine comes through as subtle, elegant and balanced, with very integrated oak and a nice texture. It's one of the finest vintages for Alión.

    € 79,95 per fles

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    2017 Valbuena 5 anos

    RP 96

    2017 was marked by the frost of the night between April 27 and 28 that Vega Sicilia fought with their anti-frost-towers. The end of the season was warm, and the overall rain was low, 235 liters.

    The 2017 Valbuena is marked by these circumstances, produced with 94% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) and 6% Merlot, with good ripeness (14.5% alcohol) and mellow acidity (4.65 grams of tartaric acid and a pH of 3.85) The grapes were cooled down and took three to four days of maceration to start fermenting with indigenous yeasts. The wine matured in a combination of new and used French and American 225-liter oak barrels and 21.000 liter oak vats for almost three years.

    The result, for whatever reason, was nothing short of spectacular. The wine is perfumed, floral, expressive and balsamic like few vintages before. It doesn't feel like a 2017 at all; it is harmonious, and the tannins were fine. It's an amazing Valbuena that clearly transcends the character of the vintage. What I see here is that since 2010, the wine has a very high consistency. And in 2017 it excels.

    € 152,50 per fles

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    2012 Unico

    RP 96

    The 2012 Unico is released 10 years after the harvest. They produced it with the grapes from 40 of the 210 hectares of vineyards they have, with a total of 55 separate plots and 19 different soils. It's mostly 95% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that are cooled down for 24 hours and then fermented in oak vats with indigenous yeasts.

    Malolactic fermentation was in stainless steel and the aging in 225-liter oak barrels and 20.000 liter oak vats for a long time as this was bottled in June 2018. 2012 is a concentrated year, warm and dry with some rain at the end of September that helped the end of the ripening process of healthy grapes with lots of color and ripe tannins.

    The wine has a ripe nose, with intoxicating notes of black fruit, fresh meat and blood, a spicy touch from the American oak and earthy twist. It's a voluptuous and decadent vintage for Vega Sicilia, for those that favor years like 2006, a bit atypical, or 1999. The wine finished with 14.5% alcohol, a PH of 3.88 and 5.1 grams of acidity (tartaric).

    € 385,00 per fles

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