Bodegas Vega Sicilia is a Spanish winery located in the Ribera del Duero Denominación de Origen in the Province of Valladolid, Castile and León (northern Spain). The winery was founded in 1864 by Don Eloy Lecanda y Chaves, who planted various grapes from the Bordeaux wine region of France, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are still being used in the wines today.
Since 1982, the same year that the Ribera del Duero was granted Denominación de Origen (DO) status, the winery has been owned by the Álvarez family who are members of the Primum Familiae Vini.
In comparing the wines of Spain to the First Growth wines of Bordeaux, wine expert Hugh Johnson, after comparing Rioja producers Marqués de Riscal and Marqués de Murrieta to Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Mouton Rothschild, respectively, stated: “Vega Sicilia is the Latour; but Latour of a vintage that has raisined the grapes and fried the picking crews.”—a reference to the significantly warmer climate and different growing conditions of the Ribera del Duero.
Vega Sicilia’s wines are recognised worldwide as some of the finest and most valued red wines on the market.
Vega Sicilia is noted for its patience in winemaking and willingness to hold onto their inventory and age their wines in the barrel and bottle for many years until it fits the style that the producers are looking for. Depending on the vintage, the wine could be held by Vega Sicilia for decades until it is released. For example, in 1991 the winery released both the 1968 and 1982 vintages after 23 and 9 years aging.
Valbuena 5° – The 5° indicates that this wine has been aged for five years prior to release. The wine is composed mostly of Tempranillo, with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2016 Valbuena was produced with a blend of 94% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) and 6% Merlot from 140 hectares dedicated to this wine. It fermented with indigenous yeasts, and the first year it matured in barrels (75% French, 25% American) and the second year in large oak vats. This is again a floral and elegant vintage of Valbuena, very much in line with what has happened in the best vintages since 2010. 2016 is going to be a wine that the public is going to like; it has an extroverted personality and is perfumed and generous, juicy and tasty and nicely textured, with fine-grained tannins and very focused and clean flavors. 2016 was a year of very good freshness in Ribera del Duero, a year they like even better than 2018. 182,882 bottles, 6,030 magnums and a few larger formats were produced. It was bottled in June 2019. [96 Points, Luis Gutierrez – June 2021 , robertparker.com]