2002 Bodegas y Vinedos Vega Sicilia Tinto Valbuena 5 Anos Ribera del Duero

($150) Ruby-red. Smoky cherry, plum and blackcurrant on the nose, with suave cigar box, tobacco and anise nuances. A supple, sweet midweight, with stylish red and dark berry flavors underscored by graphite and cured tobacco. There's ample concentration here to reward a few more years of aging but it's drinking very well right now. Pretty impressive in the context of the vintage.


1996 Bodegas y Vinedos Vega Sicilia Unico Ribera del Duero

($350) Deep ruby. Complex, heady bouquet of kirsch, candied plum, cured tobacco, licorice, dried rose and cedar. Pungent herbal notes build with aeration and repeat on the palate, adding complexity to the deep, ripe cherry and dark berry liqueur flavors. Remarkably elegant wine with precise cherry/berry flavors and a slow-mounting mocha quality on the long, sappy finish. There's a very impressive interplay of fruit and tannins here. (Europvin USA, Oakland, CA)

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