Vega Sicilia - Unico 1999 (3L)
The bedrock is schistous: the same rock that underlies the Port vineyards of the Douro further downstream. The topsoil is chalk-based, very pale and quite sandy.
Vega Sicilia Description
The Unico Tinto is the Vega Sicilia flagship. The qualities of the Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon in different proportions are assembled to perfection in this wine. 40 hectares are used to produce Unico, with at least ten years of aging, in both barrel and bottle, considered to be one of the world's longest. French and American 225-litre oak barrels, new and used, 20,000-litre tanks; a long and complex process, that makes these wines outstanding when released and eternal when aged. 90% Tinto Fino, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, from vines of an average 35 years old.
Out of the nearly 1,000 hectares that make up the Vega Sicilia estate, 210 are used to grow vines. Our vines are in soils with very specific features, where the influence of the flow of the River Duero and the passing of time has been essential. Vines having been grown on the Vega Sicilia estate for over hundred years, which makes it possible to obtain a specific plant matter and genetic make-up. All this, together with the extremely careful and respectful handling of the vines and of the environment, makes it possible to produce unique vines.The vine is the cornerstone for Vega Sicilia of its winemaking. Everything begins with the vine and that is what establishes the qualities and specific features of the wines that will be, subsequently, ratified here in the winery.
James Suckling: 97 Points
I love the complexity of fruit and spice to this wine with its hints of dried fruits, figs and roses. Full and layered. Very ripe yet fresh. Concentrated yet lively. Goes on for minutes.
Stephen Tanzer: 96 Points
Ruby-red. Shockingly deep in color for a ten-year-old wine. Explosive aromas of cherry compote, black raspberry, blood orange, Asian spices and smoky minerals. Pure, vibrant and sweet, offering intense cherry and red berry flavors, with tangy mineral spine and an exotic smokiness. Extremely deep but energetic, with a powerful echo of minerals and singed orange on the endless finish. This is remarkably youthful but highly alluring already.
Wine Advocate: 95 Points
The 1999 Unico is a blend of 90% Tinto Fino and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 21-months in large wooden vats, twenty months in new barrel, seventeen months in semi-new barrels and then 24 months in large wooden casks. The harvest was interrupted by downpours and did not finish until November 16. It has a very intense, austere bouquet with blackberry, cedar, granite and a touch of dried orange peel. It is tightly coiled but unfurls beautifully in the glass, though it retains its rather aloof personality. The palate is medium-bodied with a rounded mulberry and raspberry leaf-infused entry, with bay leaf and graphite underneath. It is linear, focused and precise. It is very harmonious, almost Claret like with great length on the finish that offers a sorbet-like freshness. 96,159 bottles produced.
Wine Spectator: 94 Points
Elegant and expressive, this supple, traditional red shows cherry, floral, vanilla and mineral notes that are both harmonious and intense. Not a blockbuster, but remains fresh and alluring through the spicy finish.