Bodegas Vega Sicilia, Valbuena 5º Año, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 2015
Overview of the Wine
Few wines have a history as distinguished as that of Vega Sicilia. Founded in the 1860’s, its reputation on its flagship vintage has for more than 100 years produced two great wines, each appropriately named "Único."
It was at Vega Sicilia in Ribera del Duero, two hours from Madrid, that Tempranillo proved its potential for greatness. When the estate's original founder, Don Eloy Lecanda Chaves returned from France with cuttings of Bordeaux varietals, he planted them alongside the indigenous variety, then known simply as Tinto del Pais, or “Country Red”, but today known as Tinto Fino or Tempranillo. Surprisingly, it was the Tempranillo that produced the superior wine.
Today, the market for Vega Sicilia is one of scarcity and increasing demand. Vega Sicilia’s growing fame and desirability is testament not only to the estate’s enduring legacy but to the world’s craving for wines of history and noble bearing. Vega Sicilia's vintage Único, Reserva Especial and Valbuena are such wines.
Grape / Blend
Ribera del Duero, Spain
Valbuena, is the purest expression of the Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) in Vega Sicilia. Tinto Fino is clearly the predominant wine in the assemblage of the varieties that make up this magnificent wine. The other variety used is Merlot, which is added to a greater or lesser extent depending on the vintage. Valbuena 5º 2015 is a concentrated and powerful vintage, but at the same time silky and deep.
97 Points - James Suckling
The aromas to this are so complex and enticing with nutmeg, dark berries, chocolate and white pepper. Full body. Dense and layered with so much wonderful, complex and succulent character. It just makes you want to drink it. Drink or hold.
96 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Valbuena, a red blend of mostly Tempranillo with some 5% Merlot, is released in the fifth year after the harvest. It's explosive and showy, with a complex nose that shows a mixture of flowers and wild herbs, balsamic touches and great nuance. This wine has gained in complexity since the 2010 vintage, where they implemented some changes that increased the expressivity and precision of this wine. The tannins are fine-grained and there is very good balance, and the warm conditions of the year have been absorbed well by the wine. Despite the natural conditions of the year, the wine follows the path of freshness of the 2010. 173,673 bottles, 5,625 magnums and some larger formats produced. It was bottled in June 2018. (LG)
96 Points - Decanter
Valbuena is moving on up. Undoubtedly it needs time to blossom, but the building blocks are firmly in place. The oak is very refined, the fruit is dark and intense. Yet it's fresh, and with a welcome savoury spice to counterbalance the richness. The finish is very long, with a fine texture and that keynote lift of acidity. This needs time to come to its full potential. The Tinto Fino is blended with just 5% Merlot. (SJ)
94 Points - Wine Spectator
This big red hides a solid structure within a generous texture. Ripe plum and currant flavors are balanced by savory notes of dried herb, forest floor and black tea. Juicy acidity keeps this lively. Solid yet graceful. Tinto Fino and Merlot. Drink now through 2035. 14,500 cases made, 1,160 cases imported. (TM)
94 Points - Wine & Spirits
While Vega-Sicilia’s Unico grows on the north-facing slopes across the road from the winery, the fruit for Valbuena focuses on colluvial soils at the base of the hills, including parcels across the river to the north. This vintage includes six percent merlot, the varieties from Bordeaux being a founding tradition of the estate. And the merlot seems to point up the wine’s perfumed cherry flavors. Though generously oaked, the wine’s elegance gives it a traditional feel, its fruit tannins equal to the oak tannins, the flavors lasting on licorice, warm purple plum and bright notes of strawberry tops. A classic vintage of Valbuena, this should age with grace.
Product size: 750ml
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