B-21 Top Recommendation
Vega Sicilia has long led the way in Castilian Spain's heartland, making wine in Valbuena de Duero since 1846. When Don Eloy Lecanda Chaves returned from France in 1864 with his French barrels and varietals, experimenting in his vineyards and cellars with techniques learned in Bordeaux, he not only slowly transformed HIS wines, but also encouraged local growers to follow in his footsteps. Don Elroy's success at Vega Sicilia underscored the importance of the local variety of Tempranillo (known as Tinto Fino) and its place in the schistose sub-soils of these high elevation vineyards overlooking the River Duero. But it would require 118 years of consistency for Vega Sicilia before Ribera del Duero achieved DO status in 1982. That was also the year when the Alvarez family purchased Vega Sicilia, embarking on their mission of preserving the "ultimate, global prestigious benchmark." It's difficult to put into words the results of their investments; I visited with Pablo Alvarez recently and the place is beyond breathtaking. As most will remember, Mariano Garcia was responsible for 30 years' worth of the finest wines from Vega Sicilia, until his departure in 1998. But under Pablo's guidance, the multiple cuvees – spanning numerous districts – are better than ever. I have four of Vega Sicilia's finest today; wines adored for decades – treasures you'll love.