Viva La Espana !

December 20th, 2010 No comments

Viva La Espana !

Here at the Great Vintage Wine, we have no time for the ordinary!

Spanish coat of arms

Spanish coat of arms

So this post is all about an extraordinary wine from Spain.

Before I tell you more about this wine, let me tell you that two of the three retailers of this wine listed here, each have less than 15 bottles of this rare wine available at this time!!!

The 2010 release of Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial is a “non vintage” blend produced from the 1991, 1994, and 1995 vintages, the best lots of the very best years and the average age of the wines used is usually at least 30 years old.

Surprisingly for a single identifiable vintage buff like me, this blended vintage actually works!

Apparently a great blend of vintage wines removes the vagaries of the vintage factor by blending it away, leaving a wine that could well be better than any of the constituent single vintage wines!

Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial

Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial

This wine is really unique in that they sell single vintage bottles (like everybody else) and then blend a few really great vintages together and sell that as a Reserva Especiale! (and it works!)

Peculiarly, it was not too many years ago that they didn’t even mention which wines were in the blend.   Then they started putting codes on the bottles so that ”those in the know” could discover which vintages were blended together.

Nowadays, in the enlightened times, the information is on the label and we can all know what we are drinking 🙂

Wine Gourmet Speak!

This 2010 release of Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial has a deep Purple/dark ruby color with spices, sweet berries and so much more!

It is deliciously mouth filling on the palate, with an after taste that lasts and lasts and lasts!

2010 release of Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial

2010 release of Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial

Hugely complex, opulent and full-bodied, with rich sumptuous notes of graphite, kirsch liqueur, spice box, and vanilla, this really interesting wine is Opulent, round, and full-bodied, with great precision, freshness, and depth.

With its heady fragrant and sexy perfume of cigar box, leather, delicious mushrooms and a hint of truffles, it is perfectly balanced.

What is more, you can drink it for at least 25 years and more!


If that was not enough, the Devine Wine Gourmet, Robert Parker awards this exceptional wine 99 out of a 100 points!

Well, if HE likes it that much………………!

Not only, but also….


The late Princess Diana was I am told, partial to the Vega Sicilia.

Me thinks that The Princess must have acquired the taste for this wine from her (very clued up and always slightly ahead of  times) husband, because it is said that each year, some of  this interesting  wine is purchased by the Royal Household at the Clarence House.

The Region

Ribera del Duero is located in Spain’s northern plateau, approximately an hour and a half from Madrid and extends over four provinces of Castilla y León: Burgos, Segovia, Soria and Valladolid.

The River Douro

The River Douro

The River Douro is one of Europe’s most untouched and beautiful rivers and it snakes through northern Spain and Portugal to the ocean.

Ribera del Duero region (ribera means  river bank) is the area in and around the Duero River Valley, on both sides of the River Duero, and benefits from the great diversity of soils deposited by the river.

This wine is truly rare!

The yields in the vineyards of Vega Sicilia are kept low, by  the very Politically Correct Green harvesting method.

So much so, that each vine produces less than 2 kg of grapes!

Vega Sicilia grape harvest is usually later than other harvests, going on to October at the earliest.

The Estate employs a team of around 120 to 180 harvesters who pick the grapes by hand.   The hand picked grapes are de-stemmed and then carefully selected for quality.

The annual production is only around 25,000 cases, and there is a current waiting list of over 3000 (and growing) people for an allocation!!!

No wonder that we found this wine to NOT be widely available at this time and were able to locate it only at the following outlets:

Turville Valley Wines
The Firs, Potter Row, Great Missenden, Bucks HP16 9LT  Tel (44) 01494 868818
Web –

Turville Valley Wines has been offering a very personal, professional service to discerning clients all over the world since 1979, specialising in Fine and Rare wines.  They tell me that they pride themselves on the fact that they inspect every bottle they sell!

BUT, they only have 12 bottles of the 2010 release of Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial available right now @ £192 + VAT per bottle.

However, they are expecting more of this wine in February of next year.

Contact  Christopher Davis who takes care of world wide Private Customers –

MUST OF WINES of Barcelona

They only have 11 bottles available of this wine! (This must be good stuff!)

Here are the details:

Available ONLY 11 bottles of Vega Sicilia Reserva especial 2010 at 209.48 € + VAT at this time.
Not surprisingly, there is no minimum order and a client can buy just 1 bottle if he wants!

MUST OF WINES    S.LAvda. Diagonal, 630 2-208017 Barcelona Tel.+34 93 654 82 57 M. +34 696 301 457
Web: The contact person there is David Guye

Bordeaux Index Ltd.
10 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8AH

We spoke to Gareth Birchley at Bordeaux Index.
(Bordeaux Index is a well respected retailer of fine wines right at the heart of the London Diamond District)

Gareth said that as of  20 December, 2010, they have 3 dozen and 6 btls of the 2010 N.V. Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial is available at their shop.
The price is £2050 per case of 12 bottles – Under Bond – which means of course that the price does not include VAT .

Contact Gareth Birchley at Bordeaux Index.

Phone : +44 (0) 20 7269 0703    Email:

For the Wine Techies

Size – 750ML,  Colour- Purple/dark ruby,   Varietal – Tempranillo,   Country – Spain,   Region –  Ribera del Duero.

Those were the days!

Salamanca is one of the most-fun University towns in Spain and as a kid, way back then, I spent some great summers around there.

The fact that this wine originates from around Salamanca is a very big tick for the wine as far as I am concerned 🙂




Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2009

August 1st, 2010 No comments

“A Coca Cola bottle with a Lafite Rothschild label,  could be snatched up for $$$$ in China!” Chandrajeet.


Wine sales are booming in the Far East. The Chinese and the Indians are buying up every case of vintage wine they can lay their hands on from all of the great producers.  Of course the removal of the totally really unfair tax on the imports of wine in to Hong Kong has helped, but that is not the full story. 

The label does make a lot of difference to the “rapidly rich” in Asia.   
You can be almost sure that Carruades de Lafite, the second wine, would be as popular and priced almost at the level of the first growth, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, in some of the “specialist” wine shops in Shanghai or Mumbai .
The increasing demand from the super rich of China and India is of course a Divine gift from the Gods of wine to the growers, who are all rushing to have a presence in the major cities in Asia.  For the rest of us mare mortals in Europe, I guess that we have to look for some great but still comparatively unknown wine producers! 


The Great Chateau Lafite Rothschild Label

The Great Chateau Lafite Rothschild Label

In the mean time…..              
If there is still any of it left, the 2009 Chateau Lafite Rothschild could well be a great one for the cellar, to be brought out at a very important occasion later in life.
Traditionally, the Lafites are delicately elegant with a light almond aroma and flowery under tones as opposed to the much more powerful Latours or the spicy and mind grabbing flavours of the Moutans. 
This one is another triumph for Charles Cuvelier, who has been in charge of the Chateau since 1994, and had been responsible for many of the great vintages since then.  The Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2009 seems to have great expectations for the best qualities that the Chateau is known for.
The thicker than average skinned grapes along with just the right amount of rain, at just the right times could well have produced as good a vintage as the 1982 or the 2000 vintage Lafites.
Wine Speak.
The Violet, currant, raspberry and lilac aroma unfolds slowly on the palate to a more muscular cedar and tobacco. Full-bodied with very well-balanced tannins the 2009 Lafite has the traditional elegance with a surprising amount of muscle.
The first growth is aged only in new oak barrels, for approximately 18 to 20 months.
82% Cabernet Sauvignon.
17% Merlot 17%
0.5% Petit Verdot
Price Range
(these are the sample prices taken from sources around the world and may be subject to change)
Price: $1299.00 (USD) per Bottle – minimum 12 bottles (Hong Kong) 

Price: $1395.00 (USD) per bottle  (San Fransisco) 

Price $ 1,499.00 (USD) per bottle (New York)
Price £12,999.96 (per case) London  
There are apparently no more than around 25,000 cases of this great vintage out there, so if all goes with the wine as expected, then it could be a really great wine to buy and put away in the cellar!

Tasting a Great Vintage Wine!

Tasting a Great Vintage Wine

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The Secret Great Vintage of 2009!

July 23rd, 2010 1 comment

The year 2009 was very good for

Botryotinia fuckeliana!!

 And as we all know, Botryotinia fuckeliana (Botrytis Cinerea) fungus causes the famous Noble Rot, which produces the divinely sweet nectar, that is the Sauternes Wine.
A good vintage of Sauternes needs many conditions to be exactly right and so a great Sauternes vintage is very rare.
Fortunately, the year 2009 was exactly right for the Noble Rot in every possible way, making the 2009 Sauternes, a great vintage indeed!
Sauternes, the Secret Great Vintage of 2009

The Noble Rot

It is strange therefore that there is not much buzz about the 2009 Sauternes out there!  Instead, every one is talking, blogging, Tweeting and reviewing the Reds, even though the record 2009 vintage is probably an even better vintage for the Sauternes than the Reds.  It is certainly more consistent!
So we start with “The Secret Great Vintage of 2009” by listing below, the best of the Great Vintage Sauternes of 2009, in three different categories as follows:
1. The Ten Best Sauternes of 2009 for Overall Quality
2. The Ten Best Sauternes of 2009 for Value 
3. The Ten Best Sauternes of 2009 for Investment
1. The Ten Best Sauternes of 2009 for Overall Quality 
de Fargues
Clos Haut-Peyraguey
La Tour Blanche
2. The Ten Best Sauternes of 2009 for Value 
Raymond Lafon
Doisy Daene
Domaine de l’Alliance
de Malle
La Clotte-Cazalis
de Myrat
3. The Ten Best Sauternes of 2009 for Investment 
de Fargues
Raymond Lafon
Doisy Daene
Doisy Vedrines
Our thanks to Steve Webb of Bordeaux Gold, who specialises in Sauternes, for the above information and for all of his help.
By the way, it appears that the best of the Great Sauternes Vintage 2009 is fast disappearing!
So those of you who really love the Sauternes, this may well be the time to act! 

Great Vintage Summer of 2009!

July 12th, 2010 No comments

There are some baby boomer friends, who get a kind of misty look in their eyes, when talking about the summer of 1969, the legendary Summer of Love.
Some of the wine growers from Bordeaux already seem to have exactly the same look in their eyes, when you mention the great vintage wine tasting!Great Vintage of 2009!
The summer of 2009 was apparently what is known as the Goldilocks summer for wine, when it all came together and every thing was just right.
It is said to be the best vintage since 2005. 
So how good is it?  
Well, some of the vintage is more than just good, it can truly be called great. 
But that is not the case for all of it and it is important therefore to  be very careful about what you buy.
“2009 vintage is like a Rubanesque lady, deliciously voluptuous in some places & showing lots of cellulite bumps in others!” Chandrajeet.
We do need to get the right information, so that we can go for the great and miss the not so great of the 2009.
There is no dearth of information though, in fact there is just way too much information around about this vintage, with more data being added each day!
The problem of too much information is of course very common in the wine trade, but it seems to have gone in Overdrive for the 2009!
There are already thousands of pages of comments and recommendations from hundreds of Experts, Special Wine Tasting Teams & General Wine Gurus, all providing sooooooo much detailed content, that it is almost impossible to be able to decide on what you really want!
What we really need is a simple list of the best of the vintage.
Also as no one expert can possibly know it all, we need to get the opinion of not just one expert, but of a number of wine experts, about the Best of the Vintage list.
That is exactly what we intend to make available for the visitors to this site.
We are currently in the process of connecting with as many of the VERY BEST of the Wine Merchants, Wine Growers, Wine Publications & Bloggers as possible.
With the help of the best of the wine experts, we hope to produce three simple “Ten Best” lists for the 2009 Vintage, without the very poetic and flowery but at times confusing details that normally go with expert suggestions.
The three 10 best lists would be as follows:
1. The 10 Best Overall from the 2009 Vintage.
2. The 10 Best for investment from the 2009 Vintage.
3. The 10 Best for value from the 2009 Vintage.

We hope to have the above 10 Best lists available here shortly.-
We will of course gratefully provide full credit to the expert sources of the above information and we hope that the users of this site will show their appreciation by using ONLY the above mentioned sources to fill up their wine cellars!
The picture above, courtasy of Cambridge Wine merchants.