Vega Sicilia Valbuena 1998

I opened this for a friend's birthday, though the friend was nowhere to be seen. One of the quirks of living in a University town is that it's transient by nature. People come here for a stage of their lives and then leave. You become used to it. You joke about it. But the truth is that those people leave a mark. This particular friend watched the final out of the 2004 World Series with me. For those people, you raise a glass.

Nice warm ruby on the edges, though the core is still dark.

Rich, dark stone fruit wrapped in oak-smoked game on the nose. Sour cherries. Cocoa. There's some cedar BBQ spice as well. Perfumed though, not weighty.

There's a lot of oak here. But it all starts with a big hit of fruit - plum skins and cherries and a nice bracing bright fruit acidity that the grip, tannins and wood seem to integrate with as the palate progresses. Kind of like chewing on a grape until you're left with just the skin and the pips. With air the finish becomes more like dusty leather and old office. The oak continues to integrate as the wine breathes and after awhile all comes together and harmony abounds. Fine stuff.


Tasted at Shorehead 24 Jan 2011 (Happy Birthday, Malia)