2012 Vega Sicilia "Valbuena" Ribera del Duero

SKU #1291974 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Valbuena was cropped from a vintage with a very dry and warm summer that resulted in very healthy grapes. Since the 2010 vintage, this wine is fermented plot by plot following the findings from a soils study they did. The élevage is in French and American oak barrels that on average lasts some 18 months followed by another 18 months in 20,000-liter oak vats, but of course some lots had more time in barrique and others more time in vat. It has ripe tannins and a powerful mouthfeel but with a soft texture. Even if it's not widely mentioned, it always has had some French grapes, mainly Merlot, but this 2012 is the first Valbuena ever to be really 100% Tempranillo—because the Merlot didn't behave well in this warm and dry year. It follows the path opened by the 2010, more precise and elegant, rounded by that extra time in larger vats to finish polishing the tannins. I find this 2012 halfway between 2010 and 2011. It has depth and elegance, more serious than Alión, which is always the (maybe unfair) comparison. 174,545 bottles and some larger formats were filled in April 2014. (LG)  (2/2017)

94 points James Suckling

 The depth and intensity to this wine is focused and rich with so much chocolate, coffee and hazelnut character. It is full bodied and very polished with juicy tannins. Light, angular edge. Better in 2019 but already beautiful.  (7/2017)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Lightly charred, toasty berry aromas come with a full covering of clove and baking spice scents in this plush wine. The palate is edged with drying tannins, bolstering exotic berry, spice and herbal flavors. Its long, balanced finish features chocolate and unabsorbed oak. Drink through 2022. *Cellar Selection*  (8/2017)

93 points Vinous

 (aged for five years in new and used French and American oak barriques and vats) Opaque ruby. Primary dark berry and cherry scents are complemented by suggestions of vanilla, coconut, cured tobacco and cedary oak and accented by a suave floral topnote. Sappy, concentrated and expansive in the mouth, offering sweet black raspberry, cherry-vanilla and candied licorice flavors that are supported by a spine of juicy acidity. Unfolds slowly with air, picking up a spicy quality that carries through the very long, gently tannic finish, which echoes the cherry and coconut notes. Hands off this one for at least a few more years. (JR)  (5/2017)

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Price: $139.99

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Additional Information:

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

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5