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Vega Sicilia: producer profile and latest releases tasted

Founded in 1864, the Ribera del Duero winery has become a Spanish icon. Sarah Jane Evans MW looks back at its history and tastes the current releases, including Unico 2012.

Vega Sicilia is the granddaddy of Spain’s grands crus. With more than 150 years of history, through phylloxera, Civil War and economic upheaval, it was a favourite of Spanish Kings and it continues to reign.

Scroll down to see Sarah Jane Evans MW’s Vega Sicilia tasting notes and scores

Its ownership has changed over the years from the days of Eloy Lecanda, who founded the winery in 1864.

Since 1982, the ownership has been with the Alvarez family, and the leadership with Pablo Alvarez. The Ribera del Duero DO was created in the same year. Thus, the estate in Valbuena de Duero, sitting on the ‘Golden Mile’, is conveniently just inside the DO boundary.

It was obviously an essential step in the creation of the new DO to draw on the prestige of Spain’s most famous wine.

The Vega Sicilia estate covers some 1,000 hectares of which 250ha are given over to vines. Amongst other plantings across the property Alvarez has introduced cork trees, which he hopes that his successors may one day be able to use in bottling their wines.

See Sarah Jane Evans MW’s Vega Sicilia tasting notes and scores

Wines are presented in the same order as above

Related content:

Ribera del Duero: eight producers to watch
Ribera del Duero: Top wines to buy now

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