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Vega Sicilia, Valbuena 5, Ribera del Duero, 2017

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Vega Sicilia is widely regarded as Spain's most prestigious wine estate. It's origins date back to 1864. At this time the foundations of the vineyards were laid down with Bordeaux cuttings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec planted to complement Ribera del Duero's signature grape of Tinto Fino (Tempranillo). The estate has changed hands several times before its acquisition by the current owners, the Álvarez family, in 1982.

Reputation over the years has been achieved through a careful attention to detail - low yields, aided by green harvesting and painstaking fruit selection at harvest.
Valbuena 5° is the entry-level offering from Vega Sicilia. An expression of Tinto Fino aged for five years, hence the “5°”. Only a small percentage of Merlot is added to the blend in each vintage.

High April temperatures saw budbreak come slightly early in the vineyard, but sharp temperature changes towards the end of that month and severe widespread frosts significantly affected budbreak. The most destructive frost occurred on the night of April 27/28, though the estate’s frost towers helped lessen its effects. The cold front at the end of April/start of May passed over quickly, giving way to high temperatures and just enough rain, enabling the vineyard to recover. The total rainfall of just 235mm across the entire growing season was below the historical average. The significant diurnal temperature variations during the first fortnight of September contributed to the ripeness and balance of the finished wine.

Opens with an expressive nose of wild berry fruit, herb and floral notes and a well integrated spice/smokiness. The palate is medium to full-bodied, complex and intense. There is a purity to the juicy, crunchy fruit coupled with a hint of pencil lead and restrained oak. A long and persistent finish.

The wine is ready to enjoy now, but will undoubtedly improve with age.

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