The Fine Wine Safari is all about celebrating the efforts of the greatest wineries around the world and there can surely be no greater, more legendary winery in Spain than Bodegas Vega Sicilia in the Ribera del Duero.
Tasting their new releases is always a momentous occasion as one is acutely aware that you are documenting fine wines that will be bought, cellared and consumed for decades to come. The newest releases include beautiful wines from 2009, 2014 and 2015.
Antonio Menendez Puente and Gonzalo Iturriaga de Juan
Vega Sicilia Pintia 2014, Toro
A wine that has found a new extra top gear over the past few vintages. The 2014 is gorgeously perfumed with fragrant notes of parma violets, crushed blueberries, sun raisined blackcurrants and a subtle dusting of graphite and kirsch liquor. The palate is bright and fresh, superbly delineated, crystalline and very pure. There is plenty of blueberry fruit crunch, earthy black bramble berry depth and an impressive frame of acidity backed by a milk chocolate and vanilla oak spice nuances on the finish. A really very impressive wine for a region known for its rusticity and overt power. Drink on release or cellar comfortably for 10+ years.
(Wine Safari Score: 93+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Bodegas Alion 2015, Ribera del Duero
This warm ripe vintage in Spain is portrayed handsomely in the glass with opulent layers of brûléed black berry fruits mingling with notes of stewed prunes, plum sauce and salted caramel. Texturally there are broad layers of flesh, creme de cassis, raisined black cherries and plum coulis all underpinned by powerful, grippy mineral tannins. The finish is long and intense with a pronounced salinity and piquant acidity bite. A really bold expression from Alion. Drink from 2021 to 2035+
(Wine Safari Score: 94+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2014, Ribera del Duero
While this wine is the same vintage as the positively youthful Pintia, the Valbuena is altogether more complex, savoury and earthy on the nose with a distinct vein of tannery leather, freshly tilled earth, black currant and cedar wood spice. The palate is focused and fine with a classic line of acidity running through the wine which is generous, opulent and texturally very harmonious. Plenty of pedigree on display here, this will definitely appeal to Valbuena followers with its extra concentration, regal elegance and impressive length.
(Wine Safari Score: 95+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Vega Sicilia Unico 2009, Ribera del Duero
A wine that positively oozes class from the word go. The aromatics are cool, elegant and superbly subtle displaying a melange of earthy black bramble berries, black currant, hoisin plum sauce and sun raisined black cherries with a sprinkling of freshly ground coffee beans and mocha spice. The flavours on the palate are bold and intense with layers of earthy red currants, bramble berries and savoury black plums bolstered by powerful structured tannins, limestone minerality and a dusty graphite finish. There is plenty of fruit concentration to match the structural muscle, all rolled into an incredibly complete fine wine package. Despite some elements of accessibility, this one definitely needs to be popped in the cellar for at least another 3 to 5 years.
(Wine Safari Score: 96+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial NV (2019 release), Ribera del Duero
Always a profound offering, the latest release of this multi-vintage blend is a delicious edition displaying hedonistic aromatics of lifted sweet briary, red strawberry confit, cranberry coulis and a sweet cherry kirsch liquor exoticism. Wonderful clarity, pinpoint purity and fruit forward precision punctuate a palate superbly well balanced, pure and energetic. A wine majestically constructed allowing instant drinkability but that also offers fine ageing potential. Drink now to 2040+
(Wine Safari Score: 97+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Vega Sicilia Rothschild Macan Clasico 2015, Rioja
Fabulously bright perfumed nose of crunchy strawberries, ripe cranberries, red cherry and dusty mocha toasty vanilla oak spice. There is wonderful palate weight, a concentration of crunchy bright red fruits and classically shaped mineral limestone tannins underlying a wine with excellent poise and balance. Drink this super effort from 2020 to 2030.
(Wine Safari Score: 93/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Vega Sicilia Rothschild Macan 2014, Rioja
The flagship Macan Rioja is a wonderful creation from an excellent cooler vintage in Rioja. Compared to the Clasico, this wine is altogether more broody, dark, deep and aromatically restrained. Weightless concentration is neatly tucked into shape by soft fresh acids and creamy mineral limestone tannins. A serious offering, this wine shows the universally ageless classism of premium red Rioja. Drink from 2021 to 2035+
(Wine Safari Score: 95/100 Greg Sherwood MW)