Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5 2013  £125.00

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Of the 1,000 hectares making up the Vega Sicilia estate, 210 are used for wine growing, and there are 19 soiltypes divided for management purposes into 52 plots with very specific characteristics. The influence of the flow of the river Duero and the passage of time have been vital in forming these soils. 140 of these hectares are employed to produce Valbuena 5º. A unique, magical estate, which alongside extraordinary vineyard management, enables the production of legendary wines. Valbuena is the pure expression of red wine at Vega Sicilia, with an ageing process, from the barrel to the bottle, which lasts five years and gives the wine its name: Valbuena 5º. Both new and used 225-litre barrels of French and American wood, and 20,000-litre vats. A long and complex process for a great wine.

Valbuena always stands its ground, whole, elegant and serious. A conquering wine.

 94 by Wine Advocate

 Luis Gutiérrez

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.

93 Points Decanter

A dry, sunny vintage with a resultantly rich and fleshy Valbuena that has a warm lick of alcohol on the finish. Bold and expressive, it has a firm impression of fine oak and a tannic structure. The wine spent part of its second year ageing in barrel, which may account for this. This is the first ever Valbuena to be 100% Tempranillo, as the Merlot which would usually be in the blend failed to flourish.  Drinking Window 2020 - 2028

Reviewed by Sarha Jane Evans MW

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