January 13, 2021

Vega Sicilia Memories

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!

Rooftop Views at the Waldorf Astoria, Beverly Hills

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 2018 Tokaji Furmint Dry Mandolas (SRP $20)

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. 

Vega Sicilia Bodegas Benjamin de Rothschild 2016 Macán Clasico (SRP $50)

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 2015 Pintia (SRP $60)

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.

Bodegas Alion 2016 Alion (SRP $80)

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! 

Vega Sicilia 2010 Unico (SRP $400)

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.

Vega Sicilia Reserva Especial R.20 (SRP $500)

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.

Passionfruit Glazed Pear, Rose Mascarpone, Toasted Nuts

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.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you are looking to Drink Better and Up Your Wine Game, check out my latest virtual wine tasting offerings, including both public and private wine tasting events. For virtual events, my tastings feature a small-format wine tasting set sent to each attendee for a shared tasting experience. What can you expect from a Virtual Vino event? Fun, approachable, interactive, and unpretentious wine education as we share smiles and wine!
Brianne Cohen is a certified sommelier based out of Los Angeles, California.
She has been producing events and weddings for over 10 years in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and also offers her services as a wine educator, writer, and consultant to inspire people of all ages.

Brianne completed the entire curriculum with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust and traveled to London in order to receive her Diploma certificate, which is one of the most coveted and difficult wine certifications. Most recently Brianne judged at the International Wine & Spirits Competition and the International Wine Challenge in London.
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Sample Policy

As a wine blogger, I frequently accept samples for review on the blog and on my social media channels. Please contact me at brianne@briannecohen.com to discuss sending samples for review. I promise to always be honorable with the samples. I will evaluate all wines in good tasting settings and with no distractions. 

All reviews are my opinions, and mine only. Because of the volume of samples I receive, I cannot promise that all samples received will be reviewed, but I will do my best.

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