2002 Vega Sicilia "Unico" Ribera del Duero
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Having skipped over releasing a 2001 due to frost damage, the 2002 Unico is a result of a severe selection as attested by the label which shows that just 42,932 bottles were produced instead of 108,536 in 2000. It has an incredibly intense nose, much more linear and focused than the more flamboyant 2000, with scents of dark cherry, creme de cassis and a touch of honey and melted dark chocolate. The palate is medium-bodied with a slight grainy texture on the entry, a hint of cooked meat inflecting the layers of toasty dark berry fruit. It is very harmonious and perhaps at this juncture, edgier and grittier than the millennial Unico. It is less opulent and more structured than the 2000, but is a more cerebral wine. Drink 2020-2040+. (NM)
Wine & Spirits
A selection of Tinto Fino from vines over 40 years old (some close to 90) blended with a small percentage of Cabernet and Merlot, this red comes from a careful selection of grapes in a very rainy harvest. And the results are brilliant. Here the aromas of chocolate and sweet spice blend with scents of black cherries and nuts; the wine is vibrant in acidity, but also powerful and sweet, like oranges dipped in chocolate.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby. Smoky, floral-accented aromas of redcurrant, cherry pit and plum, with a peppery topnote. Sweet and open-knit, offering musky red fruit and floral pastille flavors and notes of mocha and succulent herbs. Shows very good depth and power for the vintage, finishing smooth, sweet and long. Not the greatest Vega by any means but highly successful for 2002, and you can actually enjoy it right now. (JR)
20% of Cabernet and those unknown grapes spice the Tempranillo this year. Tasted straight after the Valbuena of the same vintage this nose was immediately much more compelling. Taut, exciting, multi-faceted, the wine seemed quite different from older vintages - maybe simply because I have never tasted older vintages at this early stage - but I couldn't help but see the resemblance to the smooth richness of Pomerol. Compared with the Toro wine though, this has much more savouriness. (18+/20 points)