Juan Carlos de Terry, importer of Spain’s most famous wine, Vega Sicilia, hosted a special dinner to showcase the range of wines produced by the wineries in the Vega Sicilia stable.
I arrived early and was greeted by a glass of silky Kripta Cava 2007 in the distinctive round-bottomed bottle. This went nicely with a generous spread of various nuts and cured meats include some excellent ham being passed around while waiting for all the guests to arrive.
After a brief talk explaining the history of Vega Sicilia and the inspiration for the dinner, service immediately started. Our first wine was the Oremus Tokaji Late Harvest 2012. Oremus is a Hungarian Tokaji estate acquired by Vega Sicilia. Although it was quite sweet, it wasn’t heavy or cloying; the acidity providing a counterpoint to the sweetness and giving the wine some freshness. This was served with a dish of rather strong tuna liver on a bed of honey pepper confit.
The next wine was another one from Oremus, but this time dry. This was the Oremus Mandolas 2012 which accompanied the excellent scallop dish. The wine had quite gentle, slightly peppery flavor which was a good backdrop to allow the freshness of the scallop to come through.
Done with the whites, we moved on to the reds but we continued with a seafood dish; this time bacalao on a bed of black garlic pil pil sauce. The reds were a rather powerful Pintia 2010 from Toro and Vega Sicilia’s newest venture, Macan 2012 from Rioja. Macan is a joint venture between Vega Sicilia and the Rothschild family of Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Macan was a great favorite at our table. Despite its youth, quite soft after the long exposure to air. It was a savory wine with a fresh acidity making it an excellent food wine. Some of us had a few misgivings about pairing the reds with fish, fearing that the wines would become fishy or metallic, but the pairing was a great success without any off-notes disrupting the flavor of the wines.
We were next treated to Alion 2009, another wine made by Vega Sicilia from a separate estate but also in Ribera del Duero. This was in a rather modern style, rich and full-bodied. Still youthful, this wasn’t too expressive and really needs another 5 years at least to show more complexity. As it is now, it is somewhat monolithic. The false croissant stuffed with pig trotters was another masterpiece, much like a very refined callos in flavor. There was also a bit of the Alion in the sauce for the dish.
Next up was the second wine of Vega Sicilia called Valbuena 5. The 2007 vintage was poured for the guests. Although the wine was good, it was on the lean side. I’ve had better examples. The sirloin that was served with it was very tender and perfectly cooked.
The most anticipated wine of the evening was, of course, the Vega Sicilia Unico 2004. This is the estate’s flagship wine. This was showing beautifully this evening. Although definitely dry, the ripe plum and black currant fruit was on display. This medium-bodied wine also shows impressive length. It is still very much in its youth, with fruit at the forefront but undoubtedly a prolonged aging will bring out the complexities locked up at this point. To highlight the wine, a cheese plate was paired with it.
Lastly, for dessert, we were served a ginger sponge cake with some jackfruit in the sauce. Not too sweet, which made it perfect for the last wine, the Oremus Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2006. This was a rich, full-on sweet wine with a lot going on. Apricot, honey, candied orange rind and pineapple. The high acidity manages to balance the sweetness quite well. This was a great way to end the dinner.
Thank you, JC for the wonderful dinner and a chance to taste these great wines!
The wines of Vega Sicilia are available at Terry’s Selection stores.