2002 Vega Sicilia "Unico" Ribera del Duero

SKU #1254555 95 points 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)  (8/2012)

94 points 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.  (6/2013)

92 points 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)  (9/2012)

Jancis Robinson

 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)  (10/2003)

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Price: $329.99

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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