Founded for the 1998 vintage by Luis Valentín and Carmen Enciso, (Valen-ciso), Rioja natives with extensive experience in the making, tasting and commercialization of Rioja wines. Minority partners include former managers of Radoux, makers of the finest French oak barriques, and growers in the best areas of the Rioja Alta. A new winemaking facility under construction in the traditional Rioja village of Ollauri will be completed in time for the 2004 harvest.
Valenciso's objective is to produce a single wine of the highest quality and authenticity, released as Reserva. Only the best Tempranillo grapes are used, from mature, low-yielding vineyards. Of the available fruit from the grower-partners, only a small percentage is selected. Careful harvesting is timed to capture the intensity of the fruit, while avoiding overripeness or excessive alcohol levels. Aromatic volume rather than physical weight-in the manner of French Burgundy and the greatest Riojas of the past-is the Valenciso ideal.
Aging takes place in the finest cork-grade ('flor') French oak barriques, one-third replaced each year. Time in oak is dependent upon vintage characteristics, and is determined upon exhaustive tasting.
Production of 30,000 to 40,000 bottles in 1998 and 1999 has risen to over 60,000 bottles for the excellent 2000 vintage. Maximum eventual production in the new Ollauri facility will be capped at 120,000 bottles.
Valenciso's impeccable sense of proportion demonstrates rare winemaking maturity. Perfect balance offers early accessibility, while the evident structure, fresh acidity and fruit intensity promise many years of positive bottle evolution.