1987 Vega Sicilia "Unico" Ribera del Duero

SKU #1006316 95 points 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)  (8/2012)

94 points 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.  (11/2001)

Jancis Robinson

 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)  (6/2012)

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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 Penèdes 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