The Refined Elegance of a Great Spanish Wine
In the mid-19th century, an entrepreneur named Don Eloy Lecanda y Chaves inherited a property in the Ribera del Duero region, which would one day become one of the best known wine estates in Spain. Spread over 250 hectares of vines in Valbuena del Duero, in the province of Valladolid, Spain, the Vega Sicilia estate has been producing the Valbuena cuvee since 1915.
This great 100% Tempranillo red wine, produced in the true Vega Sicilia style, comes from a selection of grapes from 140 hectares in Ribera Del Duero. The wine has spent 5 years in French and American oak barrels (first and second use), earning it its name, Valbuena 5 Año.
This is a Spanish wine with a strong personality indeed. An elegant nose reveals floral notes of violet and rose, which give way to fresh red fruits. The palate seduces with its texture and volume, balanced by a beautiful acidity. The finish is quite persistent, enhanced by spicy notes of cocoa and mocha. The firm tannic structure of this wine predicts a bright future and excellent aging potential, as is the case for all Vega Sicilia wines.
Parker : 95 / 100
J. Suckling : 94 / 100
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The 2012 Valbuena was cropped from a vintage with a very dry and warm summer that resulted in very healthy grapes. Since the 2010 vintage, this wine is fermented plot by plot following the findings from a soils study they did. The élevage is in French and American oak barrels that on average lasts some 18 months followed by another 18 months in 20,000-liter oak vats, but of course some lots had more time in barrique and others more time in vat. It has ripe tannins and a powerful mouthfeel but with a soft texture. Even if it's not widely mentioned, it always has had some French grapes, mainly Merlot, but this 2012 is the first Valbuena ever to be really 100% Tempranilloùbecause the Merlot didn't behave well in this warm and dry year. It follows the path opened by the 2010, more precise and elegant, rounded by that extra time in larger vats to finish polishing the tannins. I find this 2012 halfway between 2010 and 2011. It has depth and elegance, more serious than Alión, which is always the (maybe unfair) comparison. 174,545 bottles and some larger formats were filled in April 2014.