x
  • Country ranking ?

    45
  • Producer ranking ?

    11
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2025
  • Food Pairing

    rosted veal

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 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.

Read more
Close

The Story

Of the 1,000 hectares making up the Vega Sicilia estate, 210 are used for wine growing, and there are 19 soil-types divided for management purposes into 52 plots with very specific characteristics. The influence of the flow of the river Duero and the passage of time have been vital in forming these soils.

70 of these hectares are employed to produce Unico. A unique, magical estate which, along with extraordinary management of the vineyard, enables the production of legendary wines.

The Unico ageing process is probably the world's longest, since it runs for at least ten years from the barrel to the bottle. 225-litre barrels of French and American wood, both new and used, and 20,000-litre tanks. A long complex process for a great wine.

The flagship wine Unico is a wine for all eternity. Only a handful of terroirs worldwide are able to match wine's extraordinary ageing capacity. This is a wine of inimitable style, mature, tremendously elegant and silky, in which the ageing process brings the mystique of the essence to the surface.

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

Read more
Close

Wine Information

Vega Sicilia Unico 1970

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

CLIMATIC CONDITIONS:

WINTER: Cold, high rain fall.
SUMMER: Warm. Variations in temperature from night to day.
HARVEST: Early collection. Warm weather.

HISTORY:

After alcoholic fermentation, malolactic took place in large French oak vats over 5 years. It was then placed in barrels. The rest in bottle until commercialisation.

TASTING NOTES:

COLOUR: Intense red cherry with slate red undertones. Lively and brilliant. It maintains the strength of the anthocyanins.
NOSE: Full, elegant and complex. The fruti aromas blend with the fine wood and esterification, due to its long aging process. It has a wide range of hints such as coffee, tobacco and fruit which are reminiscent of compote and syrup. The hints of oak are delicate and perfectly blended.
PALATE: Opulent and powerfull. It has all the elegance of aged wines, but maintains the liveliness of a young wine. Complex taste, full of flavour and very persistent.


PRODUCTION:

94.500 Bordeaux Bottles and 2.000 Magnum.

COMMERCIALIZATION:

The wine was sold in 75 cl. Bottles from 1995 to 1997. In Magnum size not yet commercialised.

Read more
Close

Average Bottle Price

2020 2015 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
766€ +12.6% 680€ +5.4% 645€ +4.2% 619€ +24.3% 498€ +56.1% 319€ +30.2% 245€ +50.3% 163€

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

27 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full

ending

Long and Flavorful

flavors

Truffles, Coffee and Tobacco

nose

Complex, Refined and Closed

recommend

Yes

taste

High tannin, Concentrated, Complex, Well-structured, Rich, Vigor, Elegant and Sweet

Written Notes

This handsome magnum was purchased in Spain a few years ago. The bottle looked like new, and the level was by the neck. Good, bright and deep colour, no signs of maturation. It has a very “Unico” personality, with an original, sweet fruit, truffles and American oak bouquet. A very concentrated, powerful and rich mouth with a long and tannic aftertaste.
 In general, Unicos need a lot of air to open, both after decanting and then in the glass. I decanted this magnum three hours before tasting, which afterwards we thought wasn’t enough. After five “long” hours it opened fully and became very velvety in the mouth. A classic wine that can still age many decades.

  • 95p
I didn’t get much time to take an in-depth note of the Krug, but I did for the 1970 Vega Sicilia Unico, which was still very young despite being 44! The Rev commented that it was ‘not as exotic and as open as other vintages,’ and 1981, 1973 and 1962 were mentioned. However, that was not to detract from the 1970, which was deep, earthy, leathery and creamy. Vanilla sex was the flavor that summed up its awesomeness (97p).
  • 97p

Layered and complex, this Unico is incredibly youthful given its age. Gorgeous, filled with savoury herbs and sweet oak flavours and a persistent finish. Drink 2014-2030 Alc 13%

  • 96p
Deepish ruby, thin brick rim. Rich nose, chocolate, blueberries, figs, leather, scented and layered, complex and refined nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fresh, lively, nuanced, fruity, detailed, gorgeous nose, reminds me of 1970 Château Latour but with kinder texture, nuanced, rich and very long. 96
  • 96p
Load more notes

Information

Origin

Valbuena, Ribera el Duero

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Investment potential

Very Good

Glass time

1h

Inside Information

eRobertParker.com #202
Aug 2012
Neal Martin 97 Drink: 2012 - 2030 $654-$999
For many years, the 1970 Unico was the greatest Spanish wine that I had ever tasted, and although this was not the same caliber as the previous perfect example, it remains a fabulous wine. It is a blend of 70% Tinto Fino, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot and Malbec and aged for ten years in barriques. It has a thrilling Bordeaux-like personality on the nose that is more aloof than other vintages. The Cabernet component in the blend is pronounced, forming the backbone and austerity of this wine. However, you cannot deny its power and its breeding, or indeed its obdurate, masculine finish that demands respect. This is a Unico you have to look up to, perhaps the sister of Chateau Latour in this same year. 94,500 bottles produced. Drink now-2030+.
Read more

Highlights

Latest news

WINERY NEWS Château Lafleur / “Twenty twenty-one has a multi-vintage profile; it is difficult to summarise. It was key to re  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS BWW 2022 – The Best Wine Critics of the World  / TOP 30
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS BWW 2022 – The Best Wine Critics of the World have been selected  / Jeb Dunnuck is the surprise Winner!
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 100 BEST CHAMPAGNES 2022 / by Champagne Magazine and Tastingbook.com
WINERY NEWS Cloudy Bay / Cloudy Bay defies NZ shortage to release two new Sauvignon Blancs Despite confirmed shortages of   more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Anthony Barton, Legendary Bordeaux Winery Owner, Dies at 91 / A dashing figure for decades in the wine trade, he raised châteaus Léoville Barton and Langoa Barton to iconic status
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Gérard Basset Foundation announces 14 funding grants to fuel diversity in the wine industry / The Trustees of the Gérard Basset Foundation have awarded funding grants to 14 institutional and community partners to fund diversity wine education programmes after raising over £1,200,000 at the Golden Vines awards ceremony and related auctions.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Harlan Estate and BOND appoint Kerry Wines as China distributor / Napa Valley icon Harlan Estate and BOND, pet project of Harlan’s owner Bill Harlan, have announced a partnership with Kerry Wines to be their distributor in China.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 100 Years of Jaboulet | A Connoisseur’s Collection | Finest & Rarest Wines / At the conclusion of a momentous year for Sotheby’s Wine, our London team is delighted to present our final auction before Christmas with: 100 Years of Jaboulet | A Connoisseur’s Collection | Finest & Rarest Wines.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS The top traded wines in 2021 / by Liv-ex
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Champagne’s best year to date / Despite a slightly diminished share of trade, 2021 has been an excellent year for Champagne.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS The Fine Wine Market in 2021 / All previous records set in 2020 have been broken and surpassed in 2021, marking the most successful year ever for the secondary fine wine market.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 7.12.2021 / 100 BEST CHAMPAGNE 2022 LIST by CHAMPAGNE MAGAZINE
WINERY NEWS Château Rieussec / The art of Metamorphosis Imagining the consumption of Sauternes by positioning it as an accompani  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS France has smallest harvest since 1957 / his would be the third consecutive year where the global production level is below average
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Château Mouton Rothschild unveils the label for its 2019 vintage / illustrated by Olafur Eliasson
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Angélus and Cult Wines explore NFT trend / An emerging trend in the collectibles market has made further inroads in wine via the release of a ‘non-fungible token’ linked to a barrel of Château Angélus 2020 and a digital artwork of the St-Emilion estate’s famous golden bells.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Experimental Harlan's Napa red launches in Hong Kong / A red Cabernet blend, created by Domain H. William Harlan, and not originally intended for sale, will debut in Hong Kong through leading wine importer Omtis Fine Wines.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Vega Sicilia Moves into Rías Baixas / .
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Record-Breaking Wine Sale At 2021 Hospices De Beaune Auction To Fight Against Female Violence And Breast Cancer / With a new auctioneer, the historic event sold barrels of 2021 Burgundies to raise $15.3 million for health care and women's charities

Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.
Incorrect Information
If you found some information that is wrong, let us know
Are you sure you want do delete this wine? All information will be lost.
Are you sure you want to recommend this wine?
Are you sure you want hide this written note ?
Are you sure you want show this written note ?

HOW TO USE TASTINGBOOK?

We recommend you to share few minutes for watching the following video instructions of how to use the Tastingbook. This can provide you a comprehensive understanding of all the features you can find from this unique service platform.

This video will help you get started



Taste wines with the Tastingbook


Create Your wine cellar on 'My Wines'



Explore Your tasted wines library



Administrate Your wine world in Your Profile



Type a message ...
Register to Tastingbook
Register now, it's fast, easy and totally free. No commitments, only enjoyments.
  Register