x
  • Country ranking ?

    13
  • Producer ranking ?

    5
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Roast Duck Breast with Dried Cherry Sauc

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 1964

VEGA SICILIA “UNICO” 1964 / Considering the different varieties of grape used in its composition, the most approximate percentage of each of them in this vintage is given below:

TINTO FINO: 65%
CABERNET SAUVIGNON: 20%
MERLOT, MALBEC and ALBILLO: 15%

CLIMATOLOGY;

WINTER: Cold with high pluviometry.
SUMMER: Hot. With thermal oscillation between day and night.
HARVEST: Good weather, first days in October.

HISTORY

After the alcoholic fermentation the malolactic one was performed in large wooden containers where the wine remained for 24 months. Two years in 575 litre wooden cotainers and the wine completed its maturity in semi-new and used casks for 7 years. It rested in bottles until its commercialization.

TASTING

COLOUR: Intense cherry red, with light iodine coloured edges. Bright.

NOSE: Complex and elegant bouquet, it keeps perfect harmony between variety, oak and esterification due to the long aging. Mature wine. Classic “Vegasicilian”.

MOUTH: Smooth, balanced flavour, it demonstrates the elegance of old wines, keeping its vivacity. It is complex flavourful and with a great aromatic persistence in the mouth.

PRODUCTION:

96.000 bordelaise bottles.

COMMERCIALIZATION

This wine was sold in a 75 cl. format between the years 1976 and 1983, both inclusive.
 

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

15 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full and Brownish

ending

Long, Smooth and Flavorful

flavors

Vanilla, Smoky, Leather, Chocolate and Dried-fruit

nose

Open, Ripe, Generous and Refined

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Concentrated, Balanced, Multi-dimensional, Full-bodied, Firm, Full, Round and Silky tannins

Verdict

Well-rounded and Sophisticated

Written Notes

Dark garnet red colour. Opulent nose with excellent depth, balmy character, hints of dark blossoms, hints of dark chocolate, discreet smokiness, very elegant but also very persistent. On the palate excellent structure, fine acidity, elegant tannins, well structured with excellent length.

  • 96p

A level fill, ruby with a thin orange rim. Mature and intense nose, tar, roses, tobacco, leather, cherries, some licorice, violets, figs, truffles, you need to write a book to be able to fully try to describe it. Perfect balance, beautiful acidity, tannins more or less gone, tender, erotic almost, seductive, complex and intense and the aftertaste lasts forever. It gave me goose-bumps on the first three sips. 100

  • 100p
Very deep dark red color, intense nose with aromas of peppermint and antique leather. On palate huge, massive and multidimensional with aromas of of tar, oriental spices, red berries and cherries. very long finish - wow!
  • 95p

Information

Origin

Valbuena, Ribera el Duero

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Highlights

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Wine Moments

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

96p
 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  Unico 1964  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

Dark garnet red colour. Opulent nose with excellent depth, balmy character, hints of dark blossoms, hints of dark chocolate, discreet smokiness, very elegant but also very persistent. On the palate excellent structure, fine acidity, elegant tannins, well structured with excellent length.

9m 25d ago

100p
 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Unico 1964  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

A level fill, ruby with a thin orange rim. Mature and intense nose, tar, roses, tobacco, leather, cherries, some licorice, violets, figs, truffles, you need to write a book to be able to fully try to describe it. Perfect balance, beautiful acidity, tannins more or less gone, tender, erotic almost, seductive, complex and intense and the aftertaste lasts forever. It gave me goose-bumps on the first three sips. 100

10m 20d ago

95p
 Juha Jormanainen, Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  Unico 1964  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

"Very deep dark red color, intense nose with aromas of peppermint and antique leather. On palate huge, massive and multidimensional with aromas of of tar, oriental spices, red berries and cherries. very long finish - wow! "

2y 6m ago

95p
 Juha Lihtonen, Sommelier (Finland)  tasted  Unico 1964  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

"So flirty and seductive wine with great energy. Satiny and smooth with cacao, marzipan and smoky tones."

4y 5m ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Unico 1964  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

"Mid shoulder fill. Ruby, garnet rim. A very far cry from my last excellent bottle, this one from Fine & Rare was dusty and hollow. What a dissapointment. Not close to fine and rarelly bad."

4y 6m ago

93p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Unico 1964  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

"Surprise winner...1957 vintage - 97 points. Intense, complex, sweet, endless, elegant and mystique."

5y 11m ago

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