Tag Archives: Valenciso

A healthy mix (Rioja, Spain – Day Two)

So here it is; Rioja is a big deal. With over 14,000 vineyards across 65,000 hectares it is the largest producing region in Spain. It is by no means the largest in area though, only stretching for 130 km from Haro to Alfaro, the vineyard planting is possibly the densest in Spain. Although there are 14,000 vineyards, there are only 583 business with a license to bottle, meaning there are many more growers than producers, like Champagne. Also like Champagne there are quite a few large producers, but large here means for than one million cases. Vineyards are spread across the three viticultural sub-regions of Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Orientale, and generally wine is blended across the three in different volumes. Rioja wine is the most exported and consumed around the world, and would most likely be the first region that comes to mind when considering Spanish wine regions. The three appointments I had on my second day in the region were in the three main type of winery; one large commercial winery, one mid-sized modern negociant, and one iconic super-premium producer.

Above Rioja Alavesa

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Valenciso – 12/06/2012

Blanco 2010 (70% viura, 30% garnacha blanca, 9 months Russian oak, 20% new)
Very delicate aromas, white peach, mandarin, some white floral aromas, slightly creamy. Wonderful structure, finesse and elegance straight down the palate, slightly closed and reductive in a very nice way, awesome purity of fruit with minerality and very delicate oak influence. Russian oak very interesting. Wonderful drinking wine with great character.

Tinto (Reserva) 2005 (100% tempranillo)
Nice bright ripe red fruits, sour cherry, some nice ripe tomato characters, a little tobacco leaf, wild raspberries, hints of floral but some good earth components. Bright tight light freshness, intense ripe fruit most definitely, but very delicate and fine, purity of fruit and terroir. Again, pretty simple when you look at it, non-interventionist winemaking but so complex, balanced and ageable.

Tinto (Reserva) 2006 (100% tempranillo)
More closed and rustic, dense impenetrable, darker fruit somehow, but not riper. Deeper earthier notes, more savoury and picking up some vegetative spice elements, tight intense, very concentrated tannins that should open up beautifully over some time. Structure and acidity locked up at the moment.

Valeciso red and white wines

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