and the terroir of a property such as Vega Sicilia. That philosophy, and the work of many people throughout these past 145 years, has brought our wines the joy of worldwide respect.” Established in 1864 in Valbuena de Duero in the province of Valladolid, Vega Sicilia began when the founders bought 18,000 vine shoots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Pinot Noir from Bordeaux intended for the production of brandy; however in 1915 the vineyard’s signature wines Vega Sicilia and Valbuena were developed solely for distribution to close friends and aristocracy, but not for sale purposes, thus giving birth to an exclusive and mysterious aura that surrounds the wine even today. In 1982, the winery and vineyards were purchased by David Alvarez, whose son Pablo Alvarez oversees all aspects of the vineyard and winery today. Under Pablo Alvarez’s direction, Vega Sicilia has undergone a careful process of modernization in harmony with the traditional Spanish winemaking methods developed over centuries.
Currently, the estate comprises 250 hectacres of vineyard, 80% of which is planted Tempranillo or Tinto Fino, and the rest is a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. Three wines are made at the Vega Sicilia estate: the legendary Vega Sicilia Único, the Reserva Especial and the bulk to other producers, thereby preserving the unique reputation of its wines. The Vega Sicilia Único is from each specific vintage and is released onto the market a minimum of ten years after the harvest (in the case of the great 1970,it was 25 years after the vintage). The Único comes from the estate’s oldest vines, mostly Tempranillo with more Cabernet Sauvignon than Merlot. The Reserva Especial does not have a specific vintage on the label, as it carries on a long tradition of being a blend of wines from the best years, bringing together the balance of different vintages. However, the year the wine is released onto the market, as well as the three vintages included in the blend, are always shown. The Valbuena comes from younger wines, mostly after the harvest, hence it’s full name. While Valbuena might not scale the heights of its bigger siblings, it has the structure, flavor, length and depth to last at least twenty years. “younger brother” Valbuena 5 anos. Vega Sicilia uses only its own grapes and does not sell any of its wine in Tempranillo blended with more Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon, and is released onto the market five years Sotheby’s sale includes not only wines from Bodegas Vega Sicilia, but also all of the wines from Grupo Vega Sicilia, which includes Bodegas Alión, Bodegas Pintia and Tokaj Oremus. Bordering Bodegas Vega Sicilia on the River Duero is Bodegas Alión, which produces one wine: Alión Reserva Tinto. With Alión, the Alvarez family creates a distinctly modern wine that still reflects the very high standards for which the family is revered.
The wine combines the rich character of the historic River Duero region with the most up-to-date oenological practices, yielding a flavorful expression of the