1994 Vega Sicilia "Unico" Ribera del Duero

SKU #1085748 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1994 Unico is a blend of 80% Tinto Fino, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot (presumably 2% is unknown varieties) that was picked from September 28. It is very intense with notes of raspberry, wild strawberry and mulberry with sensational minerality and vigor. There is a Margaux-like florality to the 1994 that blossom with aeration. The palate is rounded and supple on the entry with great weight and backbone. There is real substance here, similar to the 1996. It expands in the mouth with ravishing notes of blackberry, strawberry, citrus lemon, orange peel and a touch of cedar. There is enormous weight on the finish, a behemoth of a Unico. This is very potent, but it still requires several years in bottle. (NM)  (8/2012)

96 points Wine Spectator

 Still dark in color, with alluring aromas of blackberry, mineral and cigar box, this red shows a firm, fresh, balanced palate, with black cherry, vanilla, mineral and floral flavors that mingle over firm, well-integrated tannins and float onto a long finish. It's harmonious, lively and complex, not showy but with great beauty and character.  (11/2005)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full ruby-red. Knockout nose combines roasted blackberry, minerals, cedar, graphite and flowers; reminded me of a very ripe vintage of Chateau Lafite. Creamy and sweet, but with penetrating, perfectly integrated acids and a structure of steel. Powerful yet wonderfully elegant wine, with flavors of crushed redcurrant, minerals, flowers, chocolate and truffle. Finishes with great length and grip. An outstanding vintage for Unico, with the sheer acid structure and flavor intensity to go on in bottle for at least another two decades. (ST)  (10/2005)

Jancis Robinson

 Another very good vintage. Potent but with good acidity -- maybe even too potent initially but age tames them. Looks deep but mature. Mellow, complex, mature nose. Just a hint of mint. Broader than the 1996. Finishes quite dry after a plump palate. Maybe the acidity and tannin are just a little more marked than in the 1996 but these two wines taste really quite similar. A bit chewier than the 1996 on the finish perhaps. 18/20 points.  (6/2012)

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Price: $399.99

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- 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.


- 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.

Ribera del Duero