I have not been lucky enough to step foot on the Vega Sicilia property, considered to be one of the top luxury wineries in the world. Situated in the Ribero del Duero DO in Spain, Vega Sicilia is a gem among gems.
About a year ago I was invited to an exclusive collectors’ dinner at Jean-Georges in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Beverly Hills featuring the wines of Tempos Vega Sicilia paired with an exquisite meal. Now I am not a collector of Vega Sicilia wines or of any wines for that matter. But as a member of the wine press/media, I was granted a coveted invite. This evening feels like a distant memory. A time when invitations to wine pairing dinners and winemaker interviews were frequent. This certainly was a standout evening as I would otherwise likely never have the opportunity to try Vega Sicilia wines, as they are hard to come by and priced WAY outside of my price range!
The meal was so good, that I only have a shot of dessert! I was so enveloped by the food and wine, breaking out a camera for each course felt inappropriate. I was also lucky enough to sit right next to Pablo Alvarez, owner and CEO. This was a meal and experience meant to be enjoyed and not documented.
Bodegas Vega Sicilia was founded in 1864, and it’s been said that if there were First Growths in Spain (as we have in Bordeaux), then Vega Sicilia would be on the list, if not the top of the list. They are one of the most well-recognized and luxury Spanish wines on the market. Their wines are scare, expensive, and in high demand. I felt honored to get to enjoy them that evening.
Below is a recap of the meal and highlights of the wines we enjoyed, with the notes I was able to jot down without taking away from the experience.
Tokaj Oremus is a Hungary-based sister winery of Vega Sicilia. Dry Furmint, when I get to enjoy it, always knocks my socks off. This wine has bracing acid and is hyper austere. Exactly what I want in a Dry Furmint.
From their joint effort with Rothschild, this is BR-VS (Bodegas Rothschild Vega Sicilia). A monstrous wine; in a good way. 100% Tempranillo. Crazy ass tannins. Wowzas.
Bodegas Pintia is another Spanish sister winery of Vega Sicilia. This wine is concentrated, complex. A pensive wine that feels like it’s thinking and causing us to think. Yet a bit rustic. Quite a juxtaposition here.
Another sister winery of Vega Sicilia (there are 4 in total). This Bodegas Alion wine is dripping with tertiary notes: leather, dirt/earth, and toasted nuts. If you’re into savory, this wine is for you!
The Unico wine undergoes at least a decade of aging, hence this is their current release. Always at least 80% Tempranillo then a blend of Bordeaux varieties. I have no tasting notes from this wine. Literally none. I think I was in a trance and trying to enjoy/savor what was in front of me. Sitting next to Pablo Alvarez with a glass of Unico and a Jean-Georges Beef Bourguignon. No review. But if you have a chance to do any of these things in your life, please do.
Also, no review. If you can get a sip in your glass, please savor it. The Reserva Especial line is always a blend of 2-3 vintages, hearkening back to old Spain where wine was not vintaged. This wine is a blend of ’08, ’09, and ’10.
Wishing you all a happy new year as we move into 2021. Also, seems like Spain has been a popular topic as of late on the blog. Last month we explored Spanish Albariño.