Winery – Valenciso
Wine – Rioja Reserva
Vintage – 2006
Varietal – 100% Tempranillo
Score – 93/100
Price – GBP £19.99 USD $26.41
Valenciso’s Rioja Reserva, from the Alta region, is an utterly brilliant wine, offering very good value for money in a market that is fiercely competitive. It ticks all the right boxes for a good quality Rioja, although I wouldn’t say it is an archetypal expression of the region, nor is it so of the varietal, Tempranillo.
Decanted for a couple hours and this really comes alive with perfumed red fruit and vanilla, yet it continues to open up in the glass beautifully, to reveal ripe dark fruits and a wonderful fragrance of milled oak. The initial palate is tightly wound, it’s a little raisin like and savoury at first, showing it’s aged character early doors; before yielding to subtly boozy sloes and flavoursome, fresher, red fruit.
The oak integration is seamless and there are layers upon layers of sweet vanilla mattresses for the flavours to rest upon. Everything is tied together with a zippy acidity and the tannins, albeit rather robust for a relatively lean, medium bodied wine, are still rounded enough to not affect the wonderful flavour intensity and elegance of this well crafted and captivating wine, that is of exceptional structure. Drinking beautifully now, but will continue to age gracefully through to 2025.