In a nutshell: One of the classic wines of Spain's Ribera del Duero.
The lowdown: This the entry level cuvée of the the world famous Vega Sicilia estate is an amazingly pure expression of the Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) grape variety in the hands of an acknowledged expert producer. The wine is aged for five years (as the name indicates) in a mixture of French and American oak barrels and large 8,500 litre vats to give enhanced complexity. Composed of 95% Tinto Fino with the remainder being Merlot. It's a vibrant and rich wine and fully lives up to the standards expected of it.
97/100 - Tim Atkin MW
When to drink: A wine with the capability to age well and improve for a long time to come.
Very possibly Spain's most prestigious wine estate. Known the world over for it's super premium wines they are based in Valbuena de Duero a few miles to the east of Valladolid. Founded in the mid 1800's began to come to prominence during the twentieth century. It's currently owned by the Álvarez family who've been at the helm since 1982.
As you would expect of such a much vaunted estate their approach to their viticulture and winemaking is meticulous and painstaking. And their care and attention bears fruit in the quality of the finished products. There are three cuvées in the range, Único, Único Reserva Especial and the baby brother, Valbuena 5°.
Head of winemaking at Vega Sicilia is Gonzalo Iturriaga who joined the business in 2015 after extensive experience in the Spanish wine trade.