1989 Vega Sicilia "Unico" Ribera del Duero
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Saturated dark, fresh red. Exotic dried fruits complicated by minerals, cedar, cigar box and nuts on the nose. Huge, dense and solid, with great sappy redcurrant and wild strawberry sweetness buffered by powerful acids. With its huge concentration and extraordinarily chewy extract, this has fruit of steel. The wine's explosive, extremely long finish and great thrust go beyond 99.99% of the world's wines.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1989 Unico, a blend of 80% Tinto Fino and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon picked early from 30th September, has a gorgeous, minty bouquet with blackberry, a touch of blueberry, crushed violets and a little strawberry jam. It blossoms with aeration in the glass. The palate is smooth and rounded on the entry: caressing and voluminous in the mouth. The fruit is very pure with notes of strawberry, Tiptree raspberry jam, marmalade and quince. It has great weight towards the finish with orange cordial and a hint of mango. However, it does not have the tension or focus of the 1994 or the 1996. 105,860 bottles produced. Drink now-2035.
This generous red is deeply colored and lively, with plum, prune, tobacco and mineral flavors supported by well-integrated tannins. Balanced, and may still improve.
Still dark with evolution at the rim. Heady nose with balsamic and putty notes though not especially rich. Lovely rich nose. Velvety. Smells as though it’s ready to drink! On the palate it’s still slightly dry and austere but is obviously a very serious wine. Thick and slightly dusty on the finish - a very dry vintage? Acidity still dominates. - End of a phase of potential. This was served before the 1990 because it is still to unfold. Not quite ready to drink, they think. (Like 1981, a very good vintage.) Released in 2003.
Tiny yields, long cellaring (10-plus years) and a 20% share of Cabernet Sauvignon are the hallmarks of the Tempranillo-based Unico.