Critical Acclaim: 96 pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate; 96 pts James Suckling; 94 pts Wine Spectator.
About the Wine: Valbuena 5º is the purest expression of red wine at Vega Sicilia. It is aged between barrel and bottle over five years, giving rise to the wine's name: Valbuena 5º. A fresher, Atlantic-influenced, somewhat more productive vintage. We had to be stricter during selection, but these vintages provided a touch of zing and verticality to the wines, which is wonderful. We were able to squeeze extraction somewhat more for the 2018, and we increased the influence of wood during the first year of ageing, particularly our American oak (5 %). During the second year of ageing, the vat worked on this complexity of nuances and particularly the elegance of the texture.
Tasting Notes: "The 2018 Valbuena comes from a cooler vintage with good yields that required sorting and selecting in search of a happy and vertical version of Valbuena, pushing a little more and giving the wine a little more oak, especially American (5%). It was produced with 96% Tinto Fino and 4% Merlot that went through a three- to four-day cold soak and fermented with indigenous yeasts followed by malolactic in stainless steel. The élevage was in new and used 225-liter oak barrels and 21,000-liter oak vats. It has 14.5% alcohol and a pH of 3.8 and 4.78 grams of acidity (tartaric), so it's ripe and with mellow acidity that gives it a mellow mouthfeel. This is a very spicy vintage for Valbuena, getting closer to the style of Único (while at the same time I felt the 2018 Pintia from Toro was getting closer to the aromatics of some vintages of Valbuena, like 2010). It was a late-ripening year with a tendency toward freshness in the wines. The palate is medium to full-bodied, with very fine tannins that made the wine nicely textured and very elegant. There is a lot of regularity in the Valbuena of the last few years, here with more tension and freshness of the 2017, a little more balsamic even. 180,580 bottles, 5,528 magnums and some larger formats produced. It was bottled in May 2021."- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.
"Deep and complex, with fresh black and blue fruit and an attractive floral and peppery note to this vintage, followed by hints of cedar, sweet spice and vanilla. Very dusty and juicy on the palate, with mealy, powdery tannins that interweave with the fruit. A Valbuena 5 that you can appreciate earlier. Drink or hold."- James Suckling.
"A harmonious red, displaying flavors of black plum reduction and wild strawberry fruit, with fragrant Earl Grey, cedar, cocoa powder and loamy earth notes in a graceful, medium- to full-bodied frame. Well-structured but supple, with the generous profile gliding across the silky palate through to the finish of fine-grained tannins and fragrant spices. Tinto Fino and Merlot. Drink now through 2033. 15,048 cases made, 1,320 cases imported."- Wine Spectator.
Varietal: 96% Tempranillo and 4% Merlot.