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Faustino V Blanco 1997
Bouquet: Lemon and freshly pressed grapes.
Taste: Robust, dry, with vigorous tannins and flavors of lemon and fennel.
Grape Varieties: 100% Viura.
In the late 1950s, his similarly adventurous descendant, Julio Faustino Martinez, launched the family-owned label in both national and international markets. Today, Bodegas Faustino is Rioja's largest exporter of Gran Reserva wines. The winner of numerous awards and gold medals in international competitions and tastings, Bodegas Faustino is a proud custodian of the Rioja region's growing international reputation as a source of truly world-class fine wines.
With 1600 acres of its own vineyards, Faustino is self-sufficient in producing its Reserva and Gran Reserva wines. The vineyards are located in the upper part of Rioja Alavesa at an altitude of between 1500 and 1800 feet. The climate is cool, influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, and the vines thrive in the chalky soil. The state-of-the-art Faustino winery has a stock of 45,000 barriques, 80% of which are American oak. The winery maintains a permanent stock of 9 million bottles of Reserva and Gran Reserva wines.
Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. Wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and higher alcohol, which can add great body and richness to a blend.
Fresh and fruity Riojas labeled, Joven, (meaning young) see minimal aging before release, but more serious Rioja wines undergo multiple years in oak. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged around six months to one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two (plus three years in bottle), but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.
Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, adding complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, toast and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan) often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés.
White wines, typically balancing freshness with complexity, are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura. Some whites are blends of Viura with aromatic Malvasia, and then barrel fermented and aged to make a more ample, richer style of white.
Inky magenta in color with aromas of violets, herbs and spices, Blaufrankisch was first documented in Austria as far back as the 18th century and today is the second most planted red variety in Austria after its own offspring, Zweigelt. Blaufrankisch thrives in Burgenland as well as in the warmer sites of Niederösterreich (including Wachau, Kremstal, Kamptal). While most of the global acreage of Blaufrankisch remains in Austria, the variety has travelled a bit outside of its homeland and taken on a few different names. In Hungary it remains well regarded and goes by Kékfrankos, in Bulgaria it is Gamé, in the Czech Republic and Serbia, Frankovka and in Friuli, it is called, Franconia. The Germans call it Lemberger. Oregon claims a small amount of acreage; there it goes by its Austrian name.
In the glass
Blaufrankisch typically has a deep red to purple color, medium body, fine tannins and a racy acidity. On the palate it is full of blackberry, black cherry, tart red cherry and accents of black pepper, herbs and allspice.
Versatile because of its deep fruit, and medium tannin and acidity, Blaufrankisch goes well with smoked sausage, lighter meats, vinegar marinades, balsamic dressings, tomato-based sauces and of course, traditional Austrian dishes like red potato goulash and creamy spaetzle.
In pre-Medieval times grapes were divided into superior quality, that is those whose origins lay with the Franks, called “Frankisch,” and then all others, which were deemed inferior. Because this grape was well revered, it got the name, blau (meaning blue or dark) and “Frankisch,” or Blaufrankisch. The grape was actually born from a crossing of Blauer Zimmettraube and Gouais blanc, which itself is a parent of many of our modern favorites: Chardonnay, Gamay, Aligoté, Riesling and Furmint!