1987 Vega Sicilia "Unico" Ribera del Duero
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Pablo Alvarez believes 1987 was an atypical vintage for Vega Sicilia and that initially the Unico was 'very tense, not generous and unusually harsh' but in bottle, he finds that it has become relaxed and whole. A blend of 80% Tinto Fino, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot/Malbec, it has a comparatively introspective bouquet with blackberry, warm gravel, blood orange and raspberry coulis. It opens nicely with aeration although it retains some of its saturnine nature that was apparently remarked upon its release. The palate is medium-bodied with an attractive, edgy bitter note on the entry. The tannins are a little coarse compared to other vintages but harmonious in the mouth. It is interwoven by edgy, crisp acidity with touches of cooked meat and mandarin, plus a little liquorice towards the sappy, succulent finish. It is missing a little flair, but represents a fine, assertive style of Unico that should mellow with bottle age. 79,240 bottles produced. Drink 2014-2030+. (NM)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Medium ruby. Sappy raspberry, game and spices on the nose. A wine of great verve and sweetness; lush and chewy but also urgent and sharply delineated. Bracing acids give this dense wine buns of steel. Wonderful expanding finish features strong but thoroughly ripe tannins. An outstanding vintage for this legendary wine.
Atypical vintage for Vega Sicilia. Relatively austere, especially when launched, when it wasn’t well understood. Nicely balanced. Now, pruney, almost porty on the nose! Then austere on the palate. Should be great with food but not a charmer. Very pure and expressive. Very clean finish. 17.5/20 points. Drink to 2025. (JR)