Vega Sicilia Master Class & Tasting

What an opportunity!! We gathered this past Sunday to taste an amazing line-up from the most prestigious wine estate in Spain - Vega Sicilia.

Hosted by Europvin USA and Golden State Wine Company, the day included a seated seminar and Q&A with Diana Kelley, Vega Sicilia's Regional Manager for the Americas.

We learned about the origins of the storied winery, dating back to 1864.  Following the seminar, we enjoyed a tasting and bites reception.  Take a look at the stellar wines tasted below:

Oremus Dry Furmint 2014, Tokaji  - $25
Bodegas Alion 2012, Ribera Del Duero - $80
Bodegas Pintia 2011, Toro  - $60
Macan 2012, Rioja  - $80
Macan Clasico 2012, Rioja  - $50
Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2011, Ribera Del Duero  - $150
Vega Sicilia Unico 2008, Ribera Del Duero  - $380
Oremus Late Harvest 2013, Tokaji  - $30 (500 ml)

Here's some of what we learned about this famed estate:
  • The winery was formed in 1864.
  • The 1st vintage of Unico was thought to be 1915 until recent discovery of a 1909 bottling.
  • For many years Vega Sicilia only made wines in Ribera del Duero and their only bottlings were Valbuena 3, Valbuena 5 and Unico.
  • In 1991 they launched Alion Ribera del Duero and stopped making Valbuena 3.
  • They do not use the traditional Spanish terms Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva but Valbuena has typically been aged 5 years and Unico 10 years, however this is a rough plan not etched in stone.  As an example, the current vintage of Unico is 2008 but the 2005 and 2006 have not been released yet as the winery thinks they need more aging.
  • Normally non-vintage/multi-vintage wines are not highly valued other than in Champagne, but Unico Reserva Especial is their most sought after wine. The 2013 release of this wine is a blend of highly acclaimed 1994, 1999, and 2000 vintages and retails for roughly $500.
  • Vega Sicilia launched Pintia in nearby Toro in 1997 and then Macan in Rioja in 2003.
  • Alion and Macan are both 100% Tempranillo grapes, Valbuena is 100% Tempranillo as of the 2011 vintage but Unico continues to use some very old vine Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.
  • In 1993 Vega Sicilia purchased Oremus winery in Tokaj Hungary, an estate that had been making wine since 1650.
  • The main grape of Oremus is Furmint for both their dry and sweet wines.
  • At the end of our master class and tasting, 4 wines from Oremus, including the very rare Eszencia 2005, and 18 wines the Spanish estates were available for sale including 2 releases of Unico Reserva Especial and Unico 2003-2008.
Learn more in the blog Vega Sicilia - Leader of Spain!

Also in Blog

Best Winery Tours and Tasting in California!

Best Winery Tours and Tasting in California! I am regularly asked what wineries are the best to visit in California. With over 3,800 wineries in the state and American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in 43 of the state’s 58 counties it can be hard to choose. Below are my picks for Napa and Sonoma with other regions to be discussed in future weeks.

Continue Reading

An Interview with Karen MacNeil
An Interview with Karen MacNeil

We recently caught up with Karen MacNeil, author of the best -selling book The Wine Bible in anticipation of her visit Saturday, May 4th, where she’ll teach her hugely popular class What Makes Great Wine Great?

Continue Reading

Glancy Wine Education Scholars
Glancy Wine Education Fund Scholars—Where are They Now?

Continue Reading