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  • Country ranking ?

    31
  • Producer ranking ?

    4
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2025
  • Food Pairing

    Roast Duck Breast with Dried Cherry Sauce

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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Parker: An awesome wine! Judged only by the unevolved, saturated, dense ruby/purple color, this 27-year old wine could easily be mistaken for a 2-year old claret. The nose offers up copious aromas of sweet, jammy, black plums, black-cherries, and cassis, as well as gorgeous, smoky, vanillin, floral, and licorice scents that tease the olfactory senses with the promise of considerable thrills. Extremely full-bodied, massively rich, and unctuous, with layers of jammy fruit, adequate acidity, and moderate tannin, this huge wine's well-focused, structural component keeps everything in balance. There is a freshness, youthfulness, and extraordinary degree of promise in this amazingly young, fabulously concentrated Unico Reserva. It should take its place in wine history beside the greatest clarets of the decade of the sixties. Look for the 1968 Unico to age effortlessly for another 30+ years. An amazing wine!

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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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Wine Information

Vega Sicilia Unico 1968 / This vintage spent the first year in concrete tanks, after it was placed in large French oak vats over 5 years. The wine remained in used barrels for 8 years before bottling.


GRAPE VARIETIES:
TINTO FINO: 70%
CABERNET SAUVIGNON: 20%
MERLOT, MALBEC and ALBILLO 10%

CLIMATIC CONDITIONS:
WINTER: Cold, high rain fall.
SPRING: Mild. Abundant rain fall.
SUMMER: Warm.
HARVEST: Normal. Average-High temperature.

TASTING NOTES:

COLOUR: Intense red cherry, hints of iodine - mahogany.
NOSE: Potent aromas, complex and Barroco, hints of evolution in first-class oak and bottle. Predominance of spices with hints of fruit compote.
PALATE: The tannic persistence gives way to the aromatic complexity of the wine in the mouth. Smooth and vigorous. Persistence of velvety, sweet tannins from the grape.

PRODUCTION:

45.300 Bordeaux Bottles and 2.000 Magnum

COMMERCIALIZATION:

The wine was sold in 75 cl. Bottles during 1991 and 1992. In Mágnum size it was commercialised in 1995.






 

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Average Bottle Price

2020 2017 2015 2014 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
1 255€ +1.3% 1 239€ +4.2% 1 189€ +3.8% 1 145€ +3.2% 1 109€ +13.5% 977€ +8.8% 898€ +44.4% 622€ +74.7% 356€ +69.5% 210€

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

18 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full, Ruby red and Dark

ending

Long, Pure and Flavorful

flavors

Tobacco, Blackcurrant, Smoky and Chocolate

nose

Open, Complex, Ripe and Refined

recommend

Yes

taste

Low in Acidity, Well-structured, Balanced, Complex, Medium-bodied, Vigor, Ripe and Elegant

Written Notes

“Oooooo...so seductive - like a gorgeous woman look- ing over her shoulder at you as she exits the room...great spice, fruit, and sweet components (maple syrup, brown sugar and ginger rootstock)...the thing about the ‘68 is the style, class and breed...has a feminine grace to it...so tight and young still needs so much time! I am surprised they released it...a legend, but don’t touch it now spicy, dusty finish with lots of white pepper about as hot as it could be but still balanced...highest pitch of the flight... baby, baby, baby.”(98pts JK)

  • 98p

Decanted two hours.  Dark, almost opaque black to the edge of the rim. Very closed at first. After two hours it opened with delicious concentration of blackfruit and a lot of mint, eucalyptus and peppery aromas. On the palate it was powerful yet stylish with plenty of depth. A long, rich, and spicy finish. We have high hopes that this 1968 will ultimately be almost as good as 1976

  • 96p

Savoury and restrained, this Unico is less sweet and expressive than the 1966 or the 1964. Closed and quite tightly wound with firm tannins and black tea leaves on the palate. Drinking well now. Drink 2014-2024 Alc 13.5%

  • 93p

Good depth of colour and vitality, and little more opacity than ’64 and ’66 too; lovely expression, spicy and earthy on the nose, perfumed; vibrant dark fruit flavours, inner mouth perfume expression, really quite seductive, and a velvet, creamy texture to match. It reminded me a little of a great Clos de la Roche. Of all the Unicos at tonight’s dinner, this is a choice for drinking now (that great ’70 is still to hit its peak). A fantastic Unico. 96

  • 97p
Ruby, garnet rim. Liquorice, prunes, figs, evolved nose, leather, dark chocolate, bit leaner nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, softer tannins, fresh and elegant, red berries palate, nuanced and elegant, long finish. 93
  • 93p
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Information

Origin

Valbuena, Ribera el Duero

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Below Average

Glass time

1h

Drinking temperature

17

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