When my middle daughter Zoë was born in 1991, my dear friend Barry Brown gave her a bottle of Vega-Sicilia “Unico” 1975 as a gift to celebrate her arrival on the scene. This wine is made of fruit from an ancient promiscuous vineyard (tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon et al) in Ribero del Duero. Many regard it as Spain’s finest red wine.
Zoë has grown into a splendid young woman but, alas, she has no interest in red wine and is unlikely to develop one in the foreseeable future. When she was home a couple of months ago she agreed to sell the bottle to me noting that she needs cash more than she does wine. I paid her $650 for it (which I dearly hope was fair).
Last night the Queen of Cuisine and I drank the bottle with a rack of venison. It was a near-opaque ruby garnet in colour with a gold-tinged edge. The nose was integrated, harmonized, fully mature and oxidative, but not oxidized. Dusty and raw meat notes danced with fresh and dried strawberry and cherry fruit. On the palate firm fine ripe tannins and fresh acidity framed aromas of deep elegant fruit and dusty oak through a finish that lasted at least two minutes. It was a wine for dreaming. (I gave it 98 points.”
Many thanks to Barry for the generous gift and to Zoë for selling it to me!