Vega Sicilia wines are recognised worldwide as some of the finest and most valued red wines on the market.
Bodegas Vega Sicilia, a famed winery located in Spain’s foremost wine producing region Ribera del Duero, was founded in 1864; hence most of its vines are over 100 years old.
Vega Sicilia is one of the most notable and unusual wines in the world. Founder Don Eloy Lecanda y Chaves, trained as a winemaker in the Bordeaux wine region of France, planted, besides the Spanish Tempranillo grape, well-known Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Using French grapes was unusual for this time and later plantings focused more on Tempranillo, however nearly 40% of Vega Sicilia’s vineyards are still planted with traditional Bordeaux varieties.
Thus the winery produces some masterful blends of wine, albeit in low yields, with its signature bottle the Unico Gran Reserva selling for more than 300 euros. Made with grapes from some of the estate’s oldest vines, the Unicois about 80% Tempranillo and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and is usually released 10 years after vintage or longer – even the best wines from Bordeaux are aged for ‘just’ three years . .
Its second and third wines are Valbuena 5° – similar characteristics to the parent wines but aged for five years, composed mostly of Tempranillo with some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and the the unique Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especia – a non-vintage blend of different Unicos, aged at least for 10 years made with grapes which may be harvested more than 30 years apart.
Discreet and unassuming, the Vega Sicilia winery has no tasting room, and you can’t buy wine here (to even be considered as a direct buyer you must apply in writing and be approved by the board). Since 1982 the winery is owned by the Álvarez family who are members of the Primum Familiae Vini aka PFV or the Leading Wine Families, an international association of some of the world’s finest wine producing families from France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
The Álvarez family have established other wineries since including, in 2001, the Pintía winery in the nearby Toro wine region. Wine has been made in the Toro region since before Roman times, with its fame spreading in the Middle Ages, when royal privileges were granted to Toro wines. The winemaker at Pintia is the same at Vega Sicilia; Xavier Ausásis. Aged for 3 years, the Pintia is a marvellous (and less expensive) younger cousin of Vega Sicilia’s splendid wines.
Bodegas Vega Sicilia describes the Pintia as “young, intense and ground-breaking in nature, coming from land that gives it great character and well-roundness, both swathed in great elegance. Proud of its origin, it has managed to reinterpret the Vega Sicilia culture in an innovative, brave and daring manner, at the head of the emergence of a new generation of Toro wines.”
If Bodegas Vega Sicilia is known for anything besides its exceptional wines, it is for its patience in wine-making. Quality before quantity definitely applies to this winery’s output and wines are aged for as long as deemed necessary – depending on its vintage – to achieve its ultimate taste and style. And if Vega Sicilia’s winemaker is dissatisfied with the quality of the harvest in that year, the winery will not produce a single bottle of Unico, something which has happened in 1992, 1993, 1997 and 2001. So expect nothing less than perfection when you try a Vega Sicilia wine.
47359 Valbuena de Duero, Valladolid, Spain
00 34 983 680 147