1999 Vega Sicilia "Unico" Ribera del Duero

SKU #1047176 96 points 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.  (10/ 2009)

94 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (11/ 2009)

92 points 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+.  (8/ 2012)

Jancis Robinson

 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.  (8/ 2012)

K&L Notes

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.

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Price: $349.99

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Varietal:

Tempranillo

- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penčdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.
Country:

Spain

- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.
Sub-Region:

Ribera del Duero