Vega Sicilia - Unico 1987
Tasting Notes and Scores
The renowned Unico (produced from 80-100 year old vines) is one of the world's most distinctive, singular wines. Always released late, it is incredibly fresh, and capable of 2-3 more decades of evolution. The 1987 Unico Reserva's opaque ruby/purple color is accompanied by a glorious perfume of sweet cherries, flowers, licorice, and toasty oak. Full-bodied, with tremendous brightness and texture as well as an elegant, long, head-turning finish, it is undoubtedly super juice. However, for the difference in price, readers might opt to purchase either the 1997 or 1998 Valbuena. Anticipated maturity for the 1987 Unico Reserva: now-2022.
Pablo Alvarez believes 1987 was an atypical vintage for Vega Sicilia and that initially the Unico was “very tense, not generous and unusually harsh” but in bottle, he finds that it has become relaxed and whole. A blend of 80% Tinto Fino, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot/Malbec, it has a comparatively introspective bouquet with blackberry, warm gravel, blood orange and raspberry coulis. It opens nicely with aeration although it retains some of its saturnine nature that was apparently remarked upon its release. The palate is medium-bodied with an attractive, edgy bitter note on the entry. The tannins are a little coarse compared to other vintages but harmonious in the mouth. It is interwoven by edgy, crisp acidity with touches of cooked meat and mandarin, plus a little liquorice towards the sappy, succulent finish. It is missing a little flair, but represents a fine, assertive style of Unico that should mellow with bottle age. 79,240 bottles produced. Drink 2014-2030+.