x
  • Country ranking ?

    120
  • Producer ranking ?

    41
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Skirt Steak with Pomegranate Sauce

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 1989

Vintage 1989 / TINTO FINO: 80%, CABERNET SAUVIGNON: 20%
Once the process of fermentation has been completed, the wine remained in large-capacity wooden vats for 2 years. It then matured for 16 months in new casks, 3 years ins emi-new casks, 3 in used casks and finally, a futher 3 years in large-capacity wooden vats. The remaining time was spent in the bottle until being released.

This wine will be sold in a 75 cl. format in 2003. It is not defined yet when this wine will be release in Magnum format.
100.000 Bordeaux bottles, 2.500 Magnum and 110 Jeroboams.

 

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2013 2010
314€ +31.9% 238€ +7.7% 221€

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

15 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Medium and Ruby red

ending

Long, Smooth and Lingering

flavors

Cherry, Blackcurrant, Plum, Smoky and Leather

nose

Open and Complex

recommend

Yes

taste

High in Acidity, Good texture, Full-bodied, Harmonious, Vigor and Ripe

Written Notes

Ruby, brick rim. Scented, dark fruity, spices, liquorice, intense, dark berries, intense, layered, eucalyptus nose, blueberries nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fruity, dark berries, spices, juicy, red berries, detailed, red berries, lively, spices, cinnamon touch, long. 94

  • 94p

Dark garnet red colour. Aroma initially reminiscent of dark berry jam and hints of eucalyptus, slightly balmy spices in the background. On the palate well structured with well defined tannins, firm character, fine acidity, good length.

  • 91p

Information

Origin

Valbuena, Ribera el Duero

Highlights

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Wine Moments

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

94p
 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Unico 1989  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

Ruby, brick rim. Scented, dark fruity, spices, liquorice, intense, dark berries, intense, layered, eucalyptus nose, blueberries nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fruity, dark berries, spices, juicy, red berries, detailed, red berries, lively, spices, cinnamon touch, long. 94

11h 39min ago

91p
 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  Unico 1989  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

Dark garnet red colour. Aroma initially reminiscent of dark berry jam and hints of eucalyptus, slightly balmy spices in the background. On the palate well structured with well defined tannins, firm character, fine acidity, good length.

10m 21d ago

95p
 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Unico 1989  ( Bodegas Vega Sicilia )

"In neck fill. Ruby, thin garnet rim. Floral, mushrooms, some blueberries, leather, anise, layered, nuanced and elegant nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fruity, lively, elegant, nuanced and refreshing palate, lovely balance. Fairly intense flavours but not overwhelming, long finish. 95"

1y 9m ago

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