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Vega Sicilia Unico, Ribera del Duero, 2012

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Of the almost 1,000 hectares that make up the Vega Sicilia estate, 210 are dedicated to the cultivation of vines, with nineteen different types of soil and fifty-five plots with very specific features. In the extraordinary management of these soils, the influence of the course of the River Duero and the passage of time have been crucial. Forty of these hectares are used to produce Unico, which is aged for a minimum of ten years between barrel and bottle, one of the longest ageing processes in the world. Both French and American oak are used, in new and used 225-litre barrels and 22,000-litre vats. Though long and complex, this maturation technique works wonders: the wines gain a myriad of nuances, a precise texture, and a wonderful depth overtime. Thanks to this incredible terroir and unique ageing process, Unico can continue developing for decades.

The Vintage

After a fairly dry winter, spring began with moderate temperatures and abundant rainfall until early May. Temperatures then began to rise, reaching a high of 42 C on the 26thand 27thof June. There was a notable absence of spring frost, which allowed a full potential crop to develop. The summer was then very dry and warm, with zero rain in July and just 0.5mm in August; late September rain finally helped the ripening process conclude successfully. With outstanding fruit health, high colour intensity and extremely ripe tannins with good ageing potential, 2012 is an excellent vintage.

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