x
  • Country ranking ?

    5
  • Producer ranking ?

    3
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Roast lamb served medium-rare

Parker: The 1962 Vega Sicilia possesses quite astonishing purity on the nose with candied dark cherry fruit, eucalyptus, kirsch and a touch of cinnamon. This is what you might describe as a -perfect bouquet-. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannin, seamless and satin-like in texture: an Unico that is shimmering with untrammeled greatness. Youthful, vivacious and utterly compelling, this is a profound wine that even after four decades is surfeit with precocity. Undoubtedly, this must be one of the greatest Spanish wines to have graced this planet. 87,600 bottles produced. Drink now-2020+ Tasted January 2012.

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The Story

Unico is the Vega Sicilia flagship. The qualities of the Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon in different proportions are assembled to perfection in this wine. Each provides a differentiating factor that makes the wine great in every vintage.

The vines are grown on plots where the land is located at the point between the slopes down from the wasteland and the alluvial plain. The soil nearest the surface is made out of fine colluvial deposits from the hillside with small fragment of limestone. There is abundant quartz gravel deeper down in a sandy main soil. There are many angular limestone boulders on the surface.

Red wine made in controlled fermentation using native yeast in wooden tanks. Malolactic fermentation also takes place in wood.  After its fermentation, its goes through what is probably the world's longest ageing of a red wine, almost 10 years between wood and bottle. The different stages take place in different types of barrel: American and French wood, new and used 225-litre barrels, 20,000-litre vats, each batch is what determines the type of wood and the time spent in each container. After the stage in the wood, it is aged in the bottle to complete a long and complex ageing process. It will normally spend 6 years in wood and three in the bottle.

The different elements in its preparation are fine-tuned in the search of the master line that has guided the wine. Único remains true to a clear and well-defined style, with an inimitable character and style; elegance, strength, ageing capacity... A unique and timeless taste that has elevated it to among the aristocracy of the great classic wines.

It offers an infinite complexity that is gradually revealed, in every sip, the palate immensely silky and elegant, and has an ageing capacity that only a handful of wines in the world can claim.

 

Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico is still “a prophet in its own land”, Spain, and only a small part of the production leaves the country to be sold abroad. The production of Unico varies from 30.000 to 100.000 bottles depending on the year. The commercial success of Unico is nevertheless decided beforehand regardless of the amount produced, since each vintage is already sold out before the bottling. Yet 700 people are queuing for Unico´s customer list hoping that some of the customers of long standing would give up their place, or forget to order anything for two years, which automatically drops them from the list. The list of the privileged subscribers does not exceed 4,000, and they naturally remain anonymous. Pablo Alvarez, manager of Vega Sicilia, is conscientious when it comes to impartiality towards long standing loyal customers, even though the balance between the company´s firm commercial policy and influential quarters wanting wines outside its customer list is not always easy to maintain.

 


For example, when Queen Elizabeth II visited Spain a few years ago, the British Embassy wanted Vega Sicilia to represent Spain´s wine tradition at the dinner arranged to honour the Queen. Although the order had been duly placed and at decent notice, the estate was able to deliver only four cases for the dinner, of course with all manner of apologies for not having been able to meet the order in full.
Respecting loyal customers has been a matter of tremendous importance for Bodegas Vega Sicilia throughout its history. When Jesús Anadón was the estate steward the United States´ importer paid a visit and told him that in his faraway homeland the demand was more than 200.000 bottles. As he determinedly insisted that his order be multiplied, the inimitable Jesús stated without blinking an eye that the limit was 500 bottles and no more, and this was his last word.


Unico is a unique wine, and one of the great Spanish classics. It is the signature wine of Vega Sicilia and is taken from some of the oldest vines available. The wine is mostly Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon.
– The Unico wine is produced only in exceptional years, that is, in the course of one decade two or three vintages are "sacrificed" in order to maintain the high quality. It is right that the effect of the harvest is present in each wine: then the -81, -74, -75, -66. -65 and -62 are Unicos in aromatical complexity reaching baroque extremes and the -70, -89, -62, -42 and -22 ones are based on the tannic power reaching to be perpetual wine” , said Mr. Alvarez to me when we asked his personal opinion best vintages of Unicos

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Vintage 1962

VEGA SICILIA “Unico” 1962
VARIETIES:TINTO FINO: 70%, CABERNET SAUVIGNON: 20%, MERLOT 10%
 

CLIMATOLOGY:
WINTER: Cold, with high rainfall.
SPRING: Warm. Abundant rainfall.
SUMMER: Hot. Significant period of heat.
HARVEST: Normal. Beginning October. Good weather. Hot.

HISTORY:
This vintage spent its first year in the malolactic fermentation vat. In September 1963, it was transferred to 22,000 litre wooden vats, where it remained for the following three years, with half-yearly transfers. In August 1966, it was transferred to 576-litre casks, where it remained until August 1968, when it was transferred to old 215-litre casks. It remained in these casks, with yearly transfers, until March 1986, when it was bottled.

TASTING:
COLOUR: Intense cherry red, with hints of slate and iodine colours. Brilliant. It keeps the full strength of the anthocyans.
NOSE: Very complex and elegant on the nose. Very powerful, with a broad range of perfectly integrated sensations. It has outstanding aromas of coffee and tobacco, with certain very elegant hints of fruit, which are reminiscent of compote and syrups. All on a very fine background of wood.
MOUTH: In the mouth, it displays all the elegance of old wines but maintains the liveliness of the youngest. It is warm, complex and well-structured. It is full-tasting with a wealth of sensations, full with a long finish.

PRODUCTION:
87,600 Bordeaux bottles and 2,200 Magnum.

COMMERCIALISATION
This wine was commercialised in 75 cl format between 1988 and 1990 inclusive. It was commercialised in Magnum size in 1992.



 

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Average Bottle Price

2017 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
1 374€ +16.9% 1 175€ +20.4% 976€ +37.3% 711€ +12.3% 633€ +11.2% 569€ +11.4% 511€ +24.0% 412€ +95.3% 211€ +71.5% 123€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

30 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full

ending

Long, Flavorful and Smooth

flavors

Blackberry, Vanilla, Cherry and Cedar

nose

Intense

recommend

Yes

taste

Warming, Medium tannin, Complex, Well-structured, Perfectly balanced, Developing, Full-bodied, Round, Firm, Vigor and Medium-Sweet

Verdict

Impressive and Well made

Written Notes

The next wine was the final wine for which I took notes. It was all about the Milk Duds, with chocolate and caramel all over its rich and tasty body. There weren’t many moe notes at this point, other than ‘Spanish wine, so delicious, Unico!!!’ And ‘MAG’ with an arrow featuring many ups and downs. Oh, it was a 1962 Vega Sicilia Unico, of course (97M).
  • 97p
Excellent looking magnum with by the neck level. Decanted one hour. A very classic Unico nose – cherries, blackberries, vanilla and cedar wood aromas. Still a tannic and youthful wine. Full-bodied with an ideal inherent sense of balance. Very long and complex aftertaste. An absolutely brilliant wine. This great Vega Sicilia Unico 1962 has potential to live for another decade or more.
  • 93p

1962 Vega Sicilia – I don´t know what it is with this wine but there´s nothing quite like it. It was one of a kind for a long time when no one else was making wine on a serious level in Ribera del Duero. And, tasting it today it´s still very much one of a kind, there will never ever be anyone else coming close to this in terms of style and character, and, looking at the wine world today, there´s easy to make good wine but, making a wine of distinction, personality and class – very difficult. Thus Vega Sicilia is not only one of the greatest wines of Spain, but one of the legends of the world!

Information

Origin

Valbuena, Ribera el Duero

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Excellent

Fake factory

None

Glass time

1h

Inside Information

Once upon a time as I was walking the narrow side streets of Rincon, a seashore town east of Malaga, I spotted a very promising looking wine shop. I had been looking for old Unicos on my previous trips to Spain without success, but once again I decided to try my luck. Inside, I found one Unico 1985 on the shelf, but that was all. I took a little time to look at what other interesting bottles the dusty shelves might hold, and in a far corner, high up on the last shelf I discovered a small wooden case. On tiptoe I managed to get it down, and as I blew away the dust the text on it revealed: Unico 1962 Magnum - my own birth year. The smile on my face grew even wider as the owner told he had for years assumed the case was empty, and would now happily sell it to me for the original price. The bottle itself was good as new, as was the buyer.

In Spain the climate conditions in 1962 had all the characteristics of a great year: cold winter and mild spring with high pluviometry. During the hot summer there were great thermal fluctuations between day and night, a phenomena which contributes to the mark of a great vintage. The harvest took place under excellent temperature conditions and sunny skies. Because of the excellent climate conditions the harvesting began at the beginning of October. The result was very good, and it was possible to bottle 87.600 bordelais bottles and  2.000 magnums.

 “The Unico wine is produced only in exceptional years, that is, in the course of one decade two or three vintages are "sacrificed" in order to maintain the high quality. It is right that the effect of the harvest is present in each wine: then the -81, -74, -75, -66 and -65 are Unicos in aromatical complexity reaching baroque extremes and the -70, -89, -62, -42 and -22 ones are based on the tannic power reaching to be perpetual wine” , said Mr. Alvarez to me when I asked his personal opinion about other vintages that might reach up to the level of the 1962 vintage.

As I turned 40 I held a 1962 tasting for my friends. We tasted 36 best wines from that year, among them Pétrus, Grange, Latour, Lafite-Rothschild and Mouton. The best wine of the night with an average of 97 points turned out to be just this Unico! My notes were then: 

Very classic Unico nose – cherries, blackberries, vanilla and cedar wood aromas as well as flavours. Very tannic, sweet and youthful wine. Full bodied and with an ideal inherent sense of balance. Very long and complex aftertaste.

An absolutely brilliant and royal wine. As a living being which it is, the wine is not eternal, but in the case of a great wine like the Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico 1962,  it has potential to enjoy one decade more.

PN

 

 

 

eRobertParker.com #202
Aug 2012
Neal Martin 100 Drink: 2012 - 2020 $903-$1179
The 1962 Vega Sicilia possesses quite astonishing purity on the nose with candied dark cherry fruit, eucalyptus, kirsch and a touch of cinnamon. This is what you might describe as a -perfect bouquet-. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannin, seamless and satin-like in texture: an Unico that is shimmering with untrammeled greatness. Youthful, vivacious and utterly compelling, this is a profound wine that even after four decades is surfeit with precocity. Undoubtedly, this must be one of the greatest Spanish wines to have graced this planet. 87,600 bottles produced. Drink now-2020+ Tasted January 2012.
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Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

 Andreas Larsson / Best Sommelier in the World 2004, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  Unico 1962  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

1962 Vega Sicilia – I don´t know what it is with this wine but there´s nothing quite like it. It was one of a kind for a long time when no one else was making wine on a serious level in Ribera del Duero. And, tasting it today it´s still very much one of a kind, there will never ever be anyone else coming close to this in terms of style and character, and, looking at the wine world today, there´s easy to make good wine but, making a wine of distinction, personality and class – very difficult. Thus Vega Sicilia is not only one of the greatest wines of Spain, but one of the legends of the world!

7m 15d ago

95p
 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  Unico 1962  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

Dark brick red colour. Well structured with ripe fruit and hints of cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. On the palate well structured with ripe tannins, freshness and aromatic complexity.

10m 24d ago

100p
 Rodrigo Prieto, Wine Dealer (Spain)  tasted  Unico 1962  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

Cherry garnet color medium-high, covered, very drawn to her age. It does not seem a wine with more than 50 years behind. orange and red, bright. Edge wide, coppery, with great difference from the meniscus.

One of those wines that justify everything, beyond discussions on prices and comparative. It is beyond perfect. It is a stratospheric, ethereal elegance, not step on the floor at any time ... Let's see: a smoking lounge aristocratic bouquet, cigar cellar, hardwood, leather armchairs and a spectacular fruit background licorosa more typical of old Porto colheita. There is a light mist of spices in which cloves, nutmeg and pinch of smoked melts. It is a purity and finesse difficult to imagine.

The palate is fresh, firm, full, slightly spicy fresh and ripe red fruit. What strength and youth !! Everything is perfectly enshrined in perfect order, showing a vibrant, active set of ample acidity. Best of all is that he still has many years ahead to give a final step and reach the nirvana of wines

11m 17d ago

100p
 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Unico 1962  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

Deep ruby. Intense, detailed, layered, exotic, dark fruits, spices, figs, leather, massive nose, seductive and flirting. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, explodes in the mouth, dark fruits, exotic, superb structure and flavours, perfect balance, minutes of length. 100

11m 20d ago

97p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Unico 1962  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

"The next wine was the final wine for which I took notes. It was all about the Milk Duds, with chocolate and caramel all over its rich and tasty body. There weren’t many moe notes at this point, other than ‘Spanish wine, so delicious, Unico!!!’ And ‘MAG’ with an arrow featuring many ups and downs. Oh, it was a 1962 Vega Sicilia Unico, of course (97M)."

1y 7m ago

92p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Unico 1962  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

"The 1962 Unico had a similar nose yet nuttier and more intense. Its caramel aromas seemed hand-made by David Bouley versus the ‘Kraft’ of the 1974. And I love Kraft caramels, so don’t misinterpret! There was a morning sunshine quality to the wine, this oatmeal, grits and whey thing, with a pat of butter, all drenched in more caramel. There were flavors of both chocolate and caramel and a rich mouthfeel to the ’62, which was still light on its feet. Polished like a fine jewel, there was amazing freshness and concentration to the ’62, whose acidity was still very ‘high,’ as Delmas observed. Citrus came out on its finish"

2y 24d ago

95p
 Jan-Erik Paulson, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  Unico 1962  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

"Fantastic, complex wine. Best Vega Sicilia I ever had.
95 pts.
"

2y 6m ago

93p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Unico 1962  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

"Excellent looking magnum with by the neck level. Decanted one hour. A very classic Unico nose – cherries, blackberries, vanilla and cedar wood aromas. Still a tannic and youthful wine. Full-bodied with an ideal inherent sense of balance. Very long and complex aftertaste. An absolutely brilliant wine. This great Vega Sicilia Unico 1962 has potential to live for another decade or more.
"

2y 9m ago

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