Bodegas Vega Sicilia - 2017 - Valbuena - 3 L
Region: Ribera del Duero
Varietal: Tempranillo - Merlot
Vintage: 2017 - Size: 3 L - Type: RedValbuena 5º is the purest expression of Vega Sicilia's red wine. It is aged for five years between barrel and bottle, giving rise to the wine's name: Valbuena 5º. A complex vintage influenced by frosts and drought. A quick and early harvest, definitely a challenging vintage we interpreted by extracting less during fermentation and making adjustments in aging. In the first year of aging, 10 % fewer new oak barrels were used, and aging took place in wooden casks during the second year, essential for developing the wine's harmony and tension. Valbuena 5º 2017 is more mature, juicy, and voluptuous expression, always focusing on balance.
2017 was marked by the frost of the night between April 27 and 28 that Vega Sicilia fought with their anti-frost towers. The end of the season was warm, and the overall rain was low, 235 liters. The 2017 Valbuena is marked by these circumstances, produced with 94% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) and 6% Merlot, with good ripeness (14.5% alcohol) and mellow acidity (4.65 grams of tartaric acid and a pH of 3.85). The grapes were cooled down and took three to four days of maceration to start fermenting with indigenous yeasts. The wine matured in a combination of new and used French and American 225-liter oak barrels and 21,000-liter oak vats for almost three years. The result, for whatever reason, was nothing short of spectacular. The wine is perfumed, floral, expressive and balsamic like few vintages before. It doesn't feel like a 2017 at all; it is harmonious, and the tannins were fine. It's an amazing Valbuena that clearly transcends the character of the vintage. What I see here is that since 2010, the wine has a very high consistency. And in 2017 it excels.
James Suckling: 96
This shows wonderful aromas of blackberries, violets and sandalwood with vanilla undertones. Full-bodied with racy tannins and gorgeous fruit. Linear and very long. Slightly chewy. Needs time to come together, but already excellent quality. Drink after 2023.