x
  • Country ranking ?

    39
  • Producer ranking ?

    12
  • 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

15 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

Another very good vintage. Potent but with good acidity – maybe even too potent initially but age tames them. 
Looks deep but mature. Mellow, complex, mature nose. Just a hint of mint. Broader than the 1996. Finishes quite dry after a plump palate. Maybe the acidity and tannin are just a little more marked than in the 1996 but these two wines taste really quite similar. A bit chewier than the 1996 on the finish perhaps.

  • 93p

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

WINE NEWS: Brut Premier NV (10's) / Louis Roederer Launches its Replacement for Brut Premier with Collection 242 NV Louis Roederer Re  more ...
WINE NEWS: Cristal 2013 / Champagne Louis Roederer launches Cristal 2013   The top-end expression from the house wa  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 2021 The Penfolds Collection / by Andrew Caillard, MW
WINERY NEWS Warre's / The New Normal 2019 Douro Harvest Report It is easy for visitors to the Douro to assume that  more ...
WINE NEWS: Dom Pérignon 2012 / Dom Pérignon Released Two Exceptional New Champagne Vintages. As fans of Dom know, the hou  more ...
VINTAGE NEWS: 1997 / 1997 Vintage Report by Angelo Gaja:  This is a vintage that we had five weeks with hot weather,  more ...
WINERY NEWS Château Ducru-Beaucaillou / Château Ducru-Beaucaillou Celebrates 300 Years with Exclusive Commemorative Label Acclaimed  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Bordeaux Is Back And Prices Are Rising: 2020 Futures Prices and Analysis / Mouton-Rothschild, Margaux, Haut-Brion, Palmer, Smith-Haut-Lafitte and other big names release futures. And prices are starting to increase dramatically
WINERY NEWS Château Climens / BORDEAUX PROFILE: CHÂTEAU CLIMENS 10th February, 2021 by Colin Hay Terroir, history and conte  more ...
WINERY NEWS Joseph Drouhin / Drouhin to mark milestone anniversary of Clos des Mouches in novel way Burgundy grower and negoci  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 2020 Bordeaux ‘highest scoring vintage ever’ at top end / By Andrew Catchpole
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Rare Champagne unveils its 2008 Vintage / .
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS New Zealand vintage 'exceptional' but down 19% / The quality of the 2021 vintage has been described as "exceptional" throughout New Zealand’s wine regions, although the harvest was smaller than hoped for, according to New Zealand Winegrowers
WINERY NEWS Petrolo / Invest In The Iconic Wine Galatrona - Tuscany's Answer To Petrus Now, you can invest in the T  more ...
WINERY NEWS Château Phelan-Segur / 2020 - A fondamental vintage An early start to spring After record winter rainfall: 8  more ...
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’.

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
BWW 2022

BWW 2022 - Who is the Best Wine Critic of the World?

Wine Professionals and wine lovers from all around the world choose, who is most reliable and influential wine critic in the world.

 

VOTE NOW YOUR FAVOURITE WINE CRITIC!

 

BWW - Best Wine of the World -Competition is the largest wine competition in the world, whether measured by the number of wines, the number of consumers involved or the judges taking part.