Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5º 2013
This wine was re-tasted prior to this report with similar descriptors to my previous tasting for a report I published earlier this year and the score was the same. Cropped from an unusually cold and rainy vintage in which they will not bottle Único, the 2013 Valbuena is always released in its fifth year. It's mostly Tempranillo with 5% Merlot that was put through a three- to four-day cold soak in the oak vats, where it fermented with indigenous yeasts and was pumped over. It matured in new and used 225-liter French and American oak barriques and also in 20,000-liter oak vats, where the larger vessels respect the fruit, especially in a more fragile vintage like 2013. It's a very elegant and fresh Valbuena with a developed nose, quite classical with a fine texture, elegant tannins and a supple, long finish where the oak is still quite obvious. I liked it very much and consider it a triumph over the challenges of the year. 150,650 bottles and some larger formats were produced. It was bottled in June 2015.
A polished texture carries focused flavors of cherry, licorice, espresso and mineral in this lithe red. The tannins are firm and well-integrated, the acidity clean and fresh. Has muscle, but remains elegant. Drink now through 2023. 12,500 cases made.