The complexity of the wine-fruit association
Valbuena is the purest expression of Tempranillo in Vega Sicilia.
Grape varieties: in the blend of varieties which go to make this superb wine, Tinto Fino is the predominant grape by far.
The Tempranillo for Valbuena is obtained from vineyards on concave hillsides with little gradient below the steeper slopes of the moor. The origin of these soils is eroded material which collected as colluvium on the lower slopes, developing into a soil of great expression, with important changes leading to the formation of a deep calcic horizon.
The vines are between 11 and 25 years old.
Vinification and ageing:
The alcoholic fermentation usually lasts fifteen days, and the maximum temperature it may reach is of 32 degrees. The optimum ripeness of the selected grape from the harvest and the alcohol content, which varies between 13% and 14.5%, facilitate the extraction of colour and tannins. Vega Sicilia Valbuena ferments in stainless steel vats.
Then, the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in stainless steel vats.
In Vega Sicilia, the oak cask forms part of the philosophical essence, forging a true consortium with the wine. Most of the casks are made in the winery itself. In a part of the estate, Vega Sicilia has a small cooper´s workshop, which not only repairs and reconditions, but also makes new casks with American oak. The wood is left to dry for at least three years: two in the open air, and then under cover. Once its humidity has been reduced to 12%, the master cooper works the wood and, with fire, hammer, know-how and tradition, forges its geometry into the familiar shape of the barrel.
The ageing of the wine begins in January; first in containers and then in new casks. For the Valbuena, the duration of the aging process in wood is three and a half years. During this time, the wine is rotated from new casks to casks that are more and more used. With a view to achieving a perfect balance between the wine and the wood. Once this has been achieved, the wines finally rest in large wooden vats, which prepares them for later bottling.
The bottling process of the wines takes place in very modern installations, with the winery's dual mechanical and chemical control system of the corks. For this, the samples sent by the manufacturer are passed on to the prestigious French laboratory Excel. If the specified requirements are fulfilled, the supplier is told to send the order. On reception, random samples are taken from the different lots and resent to France for examination. If the order meets the winery's quality standards, the wines are bottled using the corks in question.
Ageing in the bottle
The ageing in the bottle requires time and care. The wines of Vega Sicilia end their journey with a calm rest in the bottle in specially acclimatised installations. For the Valbuena, the period for ageing in the bottle is around a year and a half. There is no hurry in Vega Sicilia.
The Valbuena red is a wine that comes from the younger vines and, it is mostly made with the varieties of tempranillo and more merlot than cabernet sauvignon. It has the garnet cherry red colour of its older brother, with orangey undertones, the ethereal expression of its alcohol content and the accent of an excellent oxidative evolution, which is the fruit of oak that has been well tanned, which is a characteristic of the company's red wines. Its personality is reminiscent of the varieties used, with a hint of ripe red fruit. In the mouth, it holds the complexity of the wine-fruit association.
Valbuena gives us a direct, comprehensible view of the grandeur of that terroir, its amiability representing balance and unctuosity wrapped in a distinctive elegance with a very long ageing capacity.