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Valenciso Reserva 2010

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • JS92
  • WE91
  • WS91
14% ABV
  • WS91
  • RP93
  • WS91
  • RP93
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

100% Tempranillo aged 17 months in fine grained French oak. Highly polished, tightly wound and elegant wine with refined aromatics. Fine tannins provide a silky texture, leading to a persistent finish of red berries and sweet oak. Blossoms both in body and flavor with decantation and will age gracefully for years, in the manner of top Burgundy.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 92
James Suckling
A firm and silky wine with sweet berry and hints of cedar. Tight and focused with linear backbone and long finish. Very fine.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Notes of earthy, clove and all spice carry the nose. This is full, juicy and popping on the palate. Flavors of raspberry, mixed spices and exotic tea finish with red-berry leftovers and even more spice notes.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Dried cherry, berry, tea, tobacco, vanilla and spice flavors mingle in this lean, gentle red. Modest tannins and light acidity keep this lively as the elements float across the palate and glide into a spicy finish. Graceful, in the traditional style.
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Valenciso

Compania Bodeguera de Valenciso

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Compania Bodeguera de Valenciso, Rioja, Spain
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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.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. 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 high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, 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, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

ALWVCRRSVA10_2010 Item# 296228