x
  • Country ranking ?

    37
  • Producer ranking ?

    11
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2040
  • Food Pairing

    Lamb in mild spices cooked at low temperature

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.

Read more
Close

Parker: This bodega has produced many profound wines, but the 1994 Unico Reserva may be the greatest vintage released since their legendary 1970 and 1968. A truly prodigious effort, it boasts an opaque ruby/purple color as well as a gorgeously sweet, expansive bouquet of sweet cherries interwoven with black currant, truffle, licorice, and scorched earth aromas. Full-bodied, potent, powerful, and well-delineated with crisp acidity, sweet but noticeable tannin, a multidimensional, expansive, layered palate feel, and a pure yet refreshing finish, it should be a wine for the history books. Anticipated maturity: now-2035.

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

Latest Pro-tasting notes

14 tasting notes

Tasting note

Be the first one to make a 20s tasting note!

Written Notes

My biggest misfire of the weekend was when I convinced myself the next wine was a 1982 Bordeaux. It was a 1944 Vega Sicilia Unico lol. The wine was elegant and creamy, sensual with its nut, cassis, plum, cedar, smoke, pencil...‘all the classics,’ I wrote . The stewy rhubarb, along with the ‘green oats,’ should have sent me elsewhere. This super fresh bottle was very dry, and very flamboyant (94).
  • 94p

Ruby, garnet rim. Scented. Red berries, blueberries, spices, floral notes, elegant, nuanced, roses, cherries, bright nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fresh, red berries, bright, anise, leather touch, some figs, elegant, long. Lovely. 95

  • 95p

This bodega has produced many profound wines, but the 1994 Unico Reserva may be the greatest vintage released since their legendary 1970 and 1968. A truly prodigious effort, it boasts an opaque ruby/purple color as well as a gorgeously sweet, expansive bouquet of sweet cherries interwoven with black currant, truffle, licorice, and scorched earth aromas. Full-bodied, potent, powerful, and well-delineated with crisp acidity, sweet but noticeable tannin, a multidimensional, expansive, layered palate feel, and a pure yet refreshing finish, it should be a wine for the history books. Anticipated maturity: now-2035″

  • 98p

Dark brick red colour with almost black core. Aroma reminiscent of blackcurrants, mild spices, balmy notes. On the palate medium bodied with well structured medium length, fine acidity and hints of tannins.

  • 93p

Clear garnet with a touch of development at the edge; sweet and savoury nose, really fragrant and expressive nuanced nose; fleshy, taut, totally classic fruit and spice profile, drinking really well. This has more energy, sinew and complexity than the ’89, but is less relaxed and cuddly. Take your pick – both are superb.

  • 94p
Load more notes

Information

Origin

Valbuena, Ribera el Duero

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Average

Fake factory

None

Inside Information

The 1994 Unico is a blend of 80% Tinto Fino, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot (presumably 2% is unknown varieties) that was picked from September 28. It is very intense with notes of raspberry, wild strawberry and mulberry with sensational minerality and vigor. There is a Margaux-like florality to the 1994 that blossom with aeration. The palate is rounded and supple on the entry with great weight and backbone. There is real substance here, similar to the 1996. It expands in the mouth with ravishing notes of blackberry, strawberry, citrus lemon, orange peel and a touch of cedar. There is enormous weight on the finish, a behemoth of a Unico. This is very potent, but it still requires several years in bottle. 96,280 bottles produced. Drink 2019-2040.

Score: 96 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, August 2012
Read more

Highlights

Latest news

TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Bordeaux 2020 Vintage – Top 50 Wines / The world's largest wine information source, Tastingbook.com, has rated Bordeaux's best red wines from 2020 vintage by using Tastingbook Artificial Intelligence.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Boom times for fine wine / The Liv-ex 1000 shows that interest in wines from Burgundy, Champagne, the Rhône, Italy and the US has grown rapidly—and unexpectedly.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 2021 Henschke “A Congregation of Ancients” Release / A Timeless Quality
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Austrian 2020 vintage  / A challenging, yet rewarding year
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS ORNELLAIA ANNOUNCES NEW NAPA PROJECT / Tuscan estate Ornellaia has announced a new venture in California in partnership with Dalla Valle Vineyards, called ‘DVO’.
WINERY NEWS Promontory / BWW 2021 - Best New Winery of the World have been selected – Promontory! BWW – Best W  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS BWW 2021 – Top 10 Champagnes of the World have been selected / Rare Champagne 2008 is the Winner!
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS The Bordeaux 2020 Vintage / by Angelus
WINERY NEWS Piper-Heidsieck /    CHAMPAGNE PIPER-HEIDSIECK APPOINTS NEW CELLAR MASTER Champagne house Piper-Heidsiec  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS BWW- Best Wine of the World 2021 Competition's Winners have been selected! / - the Best wine in the world is Château Mouton-Rothschild 2018
WINERY NEWS Stony Hill / HEITZ CELLAR OWNER BUYS STONY HILL Gaylon Lawrence, the owner of Heitz, and Carlton McCoy MS, Hei  more ...
WINERY NEWS Domaine Leflaive / Legendary California winery Williams Selyem will hand over control to a French producer One of th  more ...
VINTAGE NEWS: 1985 / Bordeaux / The year 1985 was a tremendous vintage. Extremely cold winter followed by extremely   more ...
VINTAGE NEWS: 1945 / Tastingbook’s TOP 10 wines from 1947&1945 tasting  (66 wines tasted) 1. Chât  more ...
WINERY NEWS Château Mouton-Rothschild / Xu Bing illustrates the label of Château Mouton Rothschild 2018 Each year since 1945, a fam  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Champagne Magazine's 100 Best Champagnes for 2021! / The world's only Champagne magazine and tastingbook.com select the World's Best Champagnes – The winner is Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2008
VINTAGE NEWS: 1990 / 1982 versus 1990 Bordeaux When you receive an invitation to a comparative tasting of all Premier   more ...
WINERY NEWS Tyrrell's Wines / 2020 Vintage: A Statement from Bruce Tyrrell Tyrrell’s has made the decision to have a seve  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS BWW2020 received over 3 million votes! / The most voted wine is Penfolds Grange 2015
VINTAGE NEWS: 2010 / Vintage Reports by Château Latour and Lafite:  After a mild and rainy autumn 2009, r  more ...

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