1999 Vega Sicilia "Unico" Ribera del Duero
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Ruby-red. Shockingly deep in color for a ten-year-old wine. Explosive aromas of cherry compote, black raspberry, blood orange, Asian spices and smoky minerals. Pure, vibrant and sweet, offering intense cherry and red berry flavors, with tangy mineral spine and an exotic smokiness. Extremely deep but energetic, with a powerful echo of minerals and singed orange on the endless finish. This is remarkably youthful but highly alluring already.
Elegant and expressive, this supple, traditional red shows cherry, floral, vanilla and mineral notes that are both harmonious and intense. Not a blockbuster, but remains fresh and alluring through the spicy finish.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1999 Unico is a blend of 90% Tinto Fino and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 21-months in large wooden vats, twenty months in new barrel, seventeen months in semi-new barrels and then 24 months in large wooden casks. The harvest was interrupted by downpours and did not finish until November 16. It has a very intense, austere bouquet with blackberry, cedar, granite and a touch of dried orange peel. It is tightly coiled but unfurls beautifully in the glass, though it retains its rather aloof personality. The palate is medium-bodied with a rounded mulberry and raspberry leaf-infused entry, with bay leaf and graphite underneath. It is linear, focused and precise. It is very harmonious, almost Claret like with great length on the finish that offers a sorbet-like freshness. 96,159 bottles produced. Drink 2016-2030+.
Dark ruby. Mellow on the nose - smells much more evolved than the 2000. Good freshness and tightness. Lots of acidity and balsamic notes on the finish. Just starting to charm though it seems to have the structure for a much longer life.
The 1999 vintage of this legendary wine began maturation in new French barriques, and then has been racked a series of times to progressively older French and American barrels of varying sizes. This is easily among the most complicated of elevages in the world of wine. Most importantly the raw material of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon are of the finest quality, and yields are tiny by any region's standards.