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January 04, 2017

Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial 2017 & Pintia 2012

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Following on from our Vega Sicilia Unico 2005 release, we are delighted to be able to offer Vega’s flagship and most acclaimed wine, Reserva Especial 2017. Vega Sicilia Reserva Especial is born out of a wonderful Spanish tradition. Historically very few estates ever bottled their own wine, instead selling in cask. As a result, they would sell two wines, a vintage wine made from that year alone and another wine without a specific harvest which was called Reserva Especial. The Reserva Especial is Vega Sicilia’s most spectacular wine, a blend of three vintages, thereby embracing Spanish ageing tradition and their foremost grape variety, Tempranillo (80%) combined with Cabernet Sauvignon (20%).

In 2017 Vega Reserva Especial is a blend of the 2003, 2004 and 2006 vintages of Unico. The 2003 and 2006 vintages were very warm, resulting in ultra-ripe fruit, and supple tannins. The 2004 was one of the finest ever in the history of the Estate, offering incredible harmony, complexity and acidity to the blend of vintages. As such, the Reserva Especial is a beautifully crafted wine which displays violets, white chocolate and sweet spice in trumps. It has yet to be tasted by any leading critic, however, we can expect its final score to reflect the quality of the constituent parts and some of the finest grapes ever produced at the Estate dominate the blend. It is another stunning effort and offered today for £648 per case of six bottles.

Reserva Especial is extremely rare and hard to source, its production is less than 1/6th of Unico, this year they have produced just 1,500 cases. As such it outperforms Unico for investment, it is a favourite in leading restaurants around the world and amongst collectors. There is never enough to go around and it rises in price displaying a healthy vintage premium.

Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial 2017, 3×75 – £648 IB 

In addition, we are delighted to be able to offer one of the Spain’s gems, the stunning Vega Sicilia Pintia. Vega Sicilia purchased the Pintia vineyard in 1997, which had resulted from years of research looking for a truly great plot in Toro. When they purchased Pintia the vines already boasted an age of 40 years plus and their plan was to make a different style of wine from this region, a modern style using all of their savour-faire. From 1997 they began experimental vinfication, installing a state of the art vinification and ageing facility. The Estate wanted to create a harmonious wine by avoiding green aromas, yet not going to the other extreme, over ripe flavours. To do this they installed a cooling room used prior to fermentation and decided never to allow fermentation to exceed 28 degrees to protect aromas; the norm is 31-33 degrees in the Ribera del Duero.

The wine is 100% Tinta de Toro, a superior local clone of Tempranillo. The Estate is known for is commitment to quality and it was not until 2001 that they released their first vintage, but only 80,000 bottles. No expense is spared for Pintia, which sees 100% new oak, 70% in French and 30% in American. One can understand why, Pablo Alvarez, the proprietor, sets high standards and aims for Pintia to become the Vega Unico of Toro. The result of this is a wine of incredible power and elegance which has been critically acclaimed for a decade. The winemaker Xavier Ausas sums up their achievements proudly, ‘we have managed to tame the Toro’ – this is a truly great wine.

At £25.50 a bottle this is the best value offering of the Estate and one of the best available in Spain. In 2012 it has been awarded 92 points. It has now become highly sought after and only sold on allocation, due to the reverence in which it is held globally. Only 15,000 cases are produced and it is a blockbuster sell out every year. That is hardly surprising at £153 per case of six from one of the leading stables in the world.

Vega Sicilia Pintia 2012, 6×75 £153 IB, 92 Points – Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate 

It looks like 2012 closes a trio of very good vintages in Toro. The 2012 Pintia is produced with the local strain of Tempranillo called Tinta de Toro from their 100 hectares of head-pruned, mostly ungrafted (75%), old vineyards (40 to 60 years of age). The destemmed grapes fermented in oak vats, malolactic was in barrique, and the aging was in new 75% French and 25% American oak barrels. The nose is very fruit-driven and fresh; they usually start harvesting around September 15th to keep the freshness. It has some balsamic aromas, red and dark berries, as well as some orange peel characteristics, hints of chocolate, vanilla, smoke and roasted notes; the wine is still very young and in need of some bottle age, but will not be sold until the end of 2016. The palate is full-bodied, structured, largely built, powerful, concentrated, and slightly rustic with abundant tannins and good overall freshness. When tasted, new to the Alión and Vega Sicilia, the rusticity of the wine is obvious and the oak-related, spice and smoke aromas grow as the wine sits in the glass. It should develop and age nicely in bottle, but it feels too young now. 180,000 bottles produced.

To buy this wine click here