Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
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Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial Non Vintage (2021 Release)

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Product description
Bearing witness to the past, it pays serious homage to the history of Spanish wine in which the most stable Vega Sicilia concept is shown. A wine that, combining the balance between the best vintages and harvests, faithfully reflects the magic of a legendary land. A mixture of years, virtues, experiences and sentiments. The value of an eternal surprise.

This red wine has no vintage and it is a tribute to tradition. The winery here sought to continue a very old Spanish custom and also to combine the balance between vintages. Traditionally, in Spain, the very few wineries that had a bottling process prepared two types of wines in each harvest: the one of the current year and another wine without a specific harvest, which they called "Reserva Especial". It was a mixture of wines from the best harvest from which the most representative wine of the winery was siphoned off. Unico Reserva Especial 2021 is a blend of vintages 2009, 2010 and 2011. Only the best Unico vintages are used to produce this iconic and extraordinarily complex wine, which is a combination of years, virtues, experiences and sentiments that encapsulate the deepest essence of a unique and unrepeatable style, the Vega Sicilia style. This wine is suitable for drinking now, but it can be stored for 40-60 years in optimal conditions.

98 Points - Wine & Spirits    If you wonder how a single wine comes to define the character of a region, if not an entire country, spend some time with Unico Reserva Especial. Native to Valladolid, grown near the town that was once the center of Castilla y León and the seat of the kingdom of Spain, the wine’s particular interaction of strength and elegance provides a window into the Castilian soul. The vines that provide the fruit for Unico rise up a north-facing slope, the escarpment at the edge of a high plateau that was once a lake bed, its sediments combining sand and clay flecked with crystalized gypsum, soils that sustain generations of vines ranging from 40 to 60 and 80 years old. This 2021 bottling of Reserva Especial combines 59 barrels selected from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 vintages of Unico. The skeleton of the wine is built out of that lake-bottom soil with its glinting facets of gypsum; the scent of the wine is built out of the complexity of fruit from old vines—rose garden, cigar box, red spices and deep red currants. Reserva Especial sustains its fresh succulence for a week after the bottle is first opened, allowing you to enjoy its increasing depths, layering earth, fruit and sun into a wine of substantial beauty.

95 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate    As has happened in the last few years, the NV Único Reserva Especial 2021 Release is composed of wines of around 10 years of age, in this case 2009, 2010 and 2011, with 2011 being the Único vintage released at the same time as this non-vintage blend. It's a tribute to the tradition and the past times, a blend of mostly Tinto Fino, the local strain of Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, and a little Cabernet Sauvignon where they look for the balance and house style by blending different vintages of Único. There are many similarities with the 2011, which can represent about one-third of the blend. There's a little more development in the aromas, some of those ripe but herbal aromas and a powerful palate but without the elegance of the 2011 vintage bottling, which has more stuffing in the mid-palate. It finishes dry, with some tannins. It's certainly younger and fresher than the Reserva Especial from yesteryear, and they are now trying to hold onto some wine to again give it some older components like in the recent past.