Vega Sicilia 'Valbuena 5' Ribera del Duero 2017
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96 Points Wine Advocate
2017 was marked by the frost of the night between April 27 and 28 that Vega Sicilia fought with their anti-frost towers. The end of the season was warm, and the overall rain was low, 235 liters. The 2017 Valbuena is marked by these circumstances, produced with 94% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) and 6% Merlot, with good ripeness (14.5% alcohol) and mellow acidity (4.65 grams of tartaric acid and a pH of 3.85). The grapes were cooled down and took three to four days of maceration to start fermenting with indigenous yeasts. The wine matured in a combination of new and used French and American 225-liter oak barrels and 21,000-liter oak vats for almost three years. The result, for whatever reason, was nothing short of spectacular. The wine is perfumed, floral, expressive and balsamic like few vintages before. It doesn't feel like a 2017 at all; it is harmonious, and the tannins were fine. It's an amazing Valbuena that clearly transcends the character of the vintage. What I see here is that since 2010, the wine has a very high consistency. And in 2017 it excels.