On Monday afternoon I attend the Drink Ribera tasting featuring, not surprisingly, the wines from the Ribera Del Duero region of Spain. The region is north of Madrid, and from speaking with some the wine makers at the event, a region with plenty of lousy weather. I’m not familiar with many of the producers with the exception of Vega Sicilia. The event took place at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the Upper West Side, we had a killer view of the park.
The high-light of the afternoon was the seminar where they poured six wines from Vega Sicilia. Two of their second label “Valbuena”, three of their “Unico”, and the “Especial” which is a non-vintage wine blended with wines from three vintages.
2008 Valbuena. Dark red with a red robe and a nose of dried herbs and red cherry with cherry and dark chocolate fruit and a bright finish.
1998 Valbuena. Dark red to black in the glass with a nose of sea-air and dark leather, tight fruit with very firm tannin on the finish.
2004 Unico. Dark red to black with a nose of fresh mushrooms and dusty fruit, velvety with stewed fruit flavors and very firm acids on the finish.
1994 Unico. Black with a purple robe with a nose of barnyard and blueberry, tasted young with bright fruit and mouth-watering acids on the finish.
1981 Unico. From a magnum. Dark red with an amber robe and a gorgeous nose of cooked dark fruit and mint with velvet fruit, bright cherry with palate cleansing acids on the finish. Still drinking young.
Unico Reserva Especial. Black in the glass with a nose of a forest after a rain, very concentrated but I thought the finish was a little unbalanced.