Bodegas Vega Sicilia is easily the most iconic winery in Spain. Located in the Ribera del Duero, the winery was found in 1864 by Non Eloy Lecanda y Chaves, who planted Bordeaux varietals alongside the tradition Spanish grapes. Since 1982, the same year Ribera del Duero was granted Denominación de Origen status, the winery has been owned by the Álvarez family, who are members of the Primum Familiae Vini. In comparing the wines of Spain to the First Growth wines of Bordeaux, wine expert Hugh Johnson noted that "Vega Sicilia is the Latour”.
There were only 3 of these gift sets brought into the state and sources tell me...only 50 made world wide!
2011 Vega Sicilia "Valbuena" Ribera del Duero
The Wine Advocate - "The 2011 Valbuena was fermented plot by plot, something they started after a deep soil study in the 2010 vintage. 2011 was a very warm and ripe vintage in the zone, and the challenge was to keep the freshness. There are more black fruit aromas, subtle spices and hints of complexity, as well as tertiary aromas that are quite classic and turn more balsamic with time in the glass. Again, this is very different form the 2012 Alión, rounder, riper, richer, more polished, mellow, soft, quite exuberant and hedonistic." RP94
Wine Spectator - "Flavors of black cherry, kirsch and orange peel mingle with anise, graphite and balsamic notes in this focused red. Firm, yet harmonious and energetic, in the traditional style. Drink now through 2026." WS92
2010 Vega Sicilia "Valbuena" Ribera del Duero
Since the 2010 harvest, they ferment plot by plot, and it shows. This Valbuena has almost 100 components in it, smaller lots, all of them corresponding to a plot of vines. It has all the signs of being one of the best vintages ever for this second wine from Vega Sicilia, mostly Tempranillo but with 5% Merlot that matured five months in 20,000-liter oak vats, 18 months in new barriques (equal parts French and American oak), three months in used barrels and then five months in the vats again before being bottled in May 2013. 2010 seems to have the exuberance of the 2011 and the seriousness and elegance of 2009. It has the Burgundian philosophy of terroir, with all plots fermented and aged separately, giving each vineyard what it needs in terms of vinification and elevage resulting in something like 40 separate lots to blend. This wine has gained in precision and sharpness, and is very pure with delineated aromas and flavors. It is a world-class wine, possibly the best Valbuena ever. RP96
Succulent and earthy, with lots of common ground with Burgundy in its fungal, earthy aroma. Long, plush fruit on the palate. Comprehensive structure – gets all of the elements in charming, co-flattering balance. Sophisticated, open, truly delicious. 18/20 points.
2009 Vega Sicilia "Valbuena" Ribera del Duero
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Valbuena was harvested early, the result of a warm summer. It’s mostly Tempranillo complemented with 5% Merlot. The wine matured for five months in 20,000-liter oak vats, 16 months in new barriques (equal parts French and American oak), four months in used barrels and then four more months in the vats before being bottled in May 2011. 180,000 bottles produced. It has some reductive notes and would benefit from some time in a decanter, where you’d start appreciating its background of cherries which feels very classical and serious. The palate is well-built, with polished tannins, very good acidity and freshness with elegance and fine tannins. Mature and with good typicity." RP94
International Wine Cellar - "Opaque ruby. Spice- and mineral-accented aromas of dark berries, cherry pit and potpourri, with a toasty topnote. Minerally, incisive and sweet on the palate, offering smoky cherry and blackcurrant flavors complicated by vanilla, mocha and licorice. Shows impressive power and vivacity on the youthfully tannic finish, with the smoke and spice notes strongly repeating." ST94
2008 Vega Sicilia "Valbuena" Ribera del Duero
The 2008 Valbuena is produced with Tempranillo and 7% Merlot and Malbec from a cold, rainy season and late harvest. It reminds me of the Riberas of yesteryear, sharper with a slight rusticity, long and sharp. Once fermented, the wine matured for seven months in 20,000-liter oak vats, 12 months in new barriques (equal parts French and American oak), three months in used barrels and then six months in the vats again before being bottled in May 2011. The aromas are subtle, there is fruit, but there is soil and above all there is harmony. The palate is long rather than round, with some blood orange notes, sharp and austere, a serious wine that should age very well. The average production of Valbuena is around 180,000 bottles and 2008 was no exception. Drink now-2022. RP94
Vega Sicilia’s 2008 Tinto Valbuena 5 Anos is compelling. A young, intense wine, the 2008 is going to need significant time to fully come together, but it boasts superb depth, persistence and a total sense of harmony. Hints of cedar, tobacco and sweet spices wrap around an intense core of dark fruit. 94 points VinousOpaque ruby. Sexy, oak-spicy aromas of dark berry preserves, pipe tobacco, licorice and vanilla, with a smoky overtone. Plush, expansive blueberry and cherry-vanilla flavors show superb depth and pick up Indian spice and bitter chocolate nuances with air. Finishes sweet and seamless, with slow-building tannins and a whiplash of sweet blue fruit. 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Made from the younger vines at Vega Sicilia--80 percent tinto fino, the balance cabernet and merlot--this is one of the best vintages of Valbuena in recent memory: a fountain of red fruit, intense in flavor, yet with more lively freshness than typical for Ribera del Duero. The acidity forms a steel rail that projects the flavors and nuanced aromas off into the distance. It’s surprisingly easy to drink, especially for a wine of this price. 93 points Wine & Spirits
2007 Vega Sicilia "Valbuena" Ribera del Duero
International Wine Cellar - "Ruby-red. Aromas of dried cherry, raspberry, vanilla, mocha and Cuban tobacco, with smoke and potpourri accents. Supple and expansive, offering sweet, spice-accented red and dark berry and floral pastille flavors that stain the palate. Dusty tannins add shape and grip to the very long, smooth, penetrating finish. I find this wine quite approachable now but it has the balance to age. Not the weightiest Valbuena but very impressive for the vintage." ST93
The Wine Advocate - "The 2007 Valbuena is rounded and warmer than the 2006 with lush dark berry fruits interlaced with scents of espresso and bay leaf. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, crisp acidity with a composed, focused finish of black cherries, raspberry, cedar and mocha. The 2007 has great precision and focus. It is more feminine and assured than the 2006, but one senses that it is holding something back to charm consumers in five or six year's time. This is very impressive. Drink 2017-2030." RP92
2006 Vega Sicilia "Valbuena" Ribera del Duero
Deep ruby. Heady, exotic bouquet evokes candied cherry, cassis, sassafras, vanilla and potpourri, plus a smoky overtone. Sappy and expansive but energetic, offering sweet cherry and floral pastille flavors lifted by spice and mineral notes. Gains sweetness with air and finishes with superb clarity and spicy persistence. This benefits enormously from aeration but really should be stashed away for at least another five years. (9/2011) 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
The 2006 Valbuena is a blend of 80% Tempranillo with 20% Merlot and Malbec. It has great volume and intensity on the nose, yet it is never overbearing. Fragrant aromas of maraschino, dark plum and orange peel are extremely pure and upon further examination, there is an attractive seam of minerality. The palate is medium-bodied with a supple, citrus-fresh entry. Crisp delineation, edgy dark cherry and cassis flavors intermingled with sour lemon that leads to a very assertive, angular finish. (NM) (8/2012) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
All of this for only $1100.00
Trust me folks...when it comes to Spanish wines you are looking at either a badass tasting for a bunch of friends or one killer investment that will give you an ROI of over 50% in less than 5 years! How do I know? I do wine for a living. It's what I know and love. I also dabble in baby drool and recently...quality to
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