Alc. 14.5 %
Luis Valentin and Carmen Enciso - whose surnames are combined in their winery's name - founded Bodegas Valenciso after years of working together at one of Rioja's most venerable estates. Since its inception in 1998, the goal at Valenciso has been deceptively simple: to create one red wine, made exclusively from Tempranillo, grown in their beloved Rioja Alta. Unlike many other wineries in Rioja who blend different grape varieties sourced from multiple vineyards scattered across the whole of the region, Valenciso's singular focus on estate-grown Tempranillo sets it apart. Vineyards are farmed organically, and the wine is fermented in concrete tanks, before being aged in French and Slavonian oak. The finished wine straddles the line between old and new-school Rioja, with refinement, elegance, and purity.
Decant this medium-bodied red for an hour before serving at about 18 C, and enjoy now or over the next 5-7 years.
Lifted, elegant aromatics of fresh raspberries, tart cherries, and pomegranate burst from the glass, and with a bit of air, evidence of the wine's careful aging become apparent in the form of underbrush, cedar, dried herbs, and graphite. It's textbook Tempranillo on the nose, and still youthful, suggesting further aging potential.
Medium-bodied and dry, with intense fruit flavours, fine-grained tannin, and balanced acidity. The red berry aromas from the nose are in abundant supply on the palate, and the fruit carries through on the long, seamless finish. While it's drinking beautifully right now, this wine will age gracefully in the cellar for many more years.
Roast lamb is a classic pairing with Rioja, but this medium-bodied red would also be a great match with pasta with sautéed cherry tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini.