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22nd March 2020

Time to drink the good stuff like there’s no tomorrow* #6

Cripes! It’s a biggie!
(So big in fact, that I have only drawn one glass, via @coravin. But once broached...)

Vega Sicilia “Unico” 2000
Ribera del Duero 14.5%

Today is the birthday of Elisa Kwon de Alvarez, the proprietor's wife, and what more excuse do I need, as this was an extremely generous gift from her to me, many years ago? Thank you Elisa and a very happy birthday!

I might also add that it was a taste of Vega Sicilia (1979) that first made me realise that there was more to wine than I had ever previously imagined, and was in no small part responsible for much of what has happened to me since.

Sometimes the most complex and greatest of the world’s wines, of which this is undoubtedly a keep-the-empty-bottle example, are actually the hardest to put into words, especially adjectives. Their greatness - and this definitely has it - is in their ability to do everything so completely, and in such an integrated manner, as to make all the individual elements blend so seamlessly, it is hard to describe the individual strands. Just like a truly great meal, where no single ingredient dominates the others. And so it is here. There is oak, obviously, which even at twenty years is still quite pronounced. It covers the whole in a sheen of spice and beeswax and tobacco. But there is liquorice and bramble jelly and cassis and raspberry too. And so much more. The texture is like silk, it floods the mouth, and fills the throat with a joyous coating of pure fruit. It is staggeringly good, and if anything, still too young. But the kind of wine you savour on its own, because to drink it with food risks diluting its magnificence somehow.

So, there you go. Pseuds Corner wanky. But there has to be a reason why wines like this are so rare, so expensive, so sought-after. And that’s the best I can do to put it into words I think.


*There might be no tomorrow.


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