To lovers of fine wines, Vega Sicilia needs little introduction. This is by far the most prestigious wine estate in Spain, with an almost mythical reputation for quality and rarity. The property is located 100 miles north of Madrid in the shallow Duero (Douro) river valley on the high remote plateau of Castilla y Léon. The altitude is over 700 meters creating a special climate; the cold nights and hot days during the crucial ripening period in September largely contribute to the uniqueness of Vega Sicilia.
In a good vintage only about 20,000 cases of wine are made and subsequently sold on a strict allocation basis. Demand in Spain alone well exceeds the total quantity available. The grape varieties famously include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, first brought to the estate from Bordeaux Grand Cru Classé vineyards in 1864.
The other unique particularity of Vega Sicilia is the long maturation in cask and bottle before release. The Valbuena is only released after five years—three years in cask and two years in bottle. The Unico is always at least 10 years old, sometimes more, upon release. The wines are truly remarkable, with enormous complexity, intensity and richness. The soft velvety texture, gorgeous mature flavors of black fruit, leather and oak are absolutely unique. Where in the world does one find a wine that is released in confidential quantities only when completely ready to drink?
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