Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Vega Sicilia

Time for a change from vineyard discussions!

Thursday last week, we had dinner with some dear friends down from Auckland. We have known Tom and Faye for over 30 years, so the occasion deserved a decent wine. I went down to our cellars at Murdoch James Estate to see what I had in my personal wine collection, and found a bottle of 1970 (yes, 1970) Vega Sicilia Unico. Actually, I found 6 bottles, which is great, as you will see from the following tasting notes.

Vega Sicilia is Spain's most famous vineyard and many of the wines they make are held back 10 or more years after bottling, before release - in the case of the 1970, I believe it was 20 years!

Notes: Dark, almost  inky in colour, just a hint of browning at the edges; when first poured a little restrained (you would be too after 40 years!), but in the glass, really opened up with earthy, leathery notes emerging. Every time we took a sniff, it opened up even more. Hints of lovely red fruits at the end - I could have sniffed this wine for hours. In essence, the nose opened up to a complexity we rarely see in such old wines. 

Then to taste it.... unbelievable!  Vibrant acidity, with dark fruits and still robust wood notes. After all this time, the wine was perfectly integrated, and although a earthy with a masculine finish, it had a lingering delicacy on the finish that justified current selling prices (up to US$ 750 I'm told).

Ah well, back to budgets and making much more modestly priced wine tomorrow!

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