Valenciso Rioja Reserva
Valenciso, created in 1998, is a collaboration between ex Bodegas Palacios’ Luis Valentin and Carmen Enciso. Guided by quality and integrity and a crystal clear vision, they seek to make classically structured, subtle and elegantly fine wines, 100% Tempranillo from low yielding old vines in the Rioja Alta. Winemaker Alicia Eyaralar uses exclusively French barriques, a third being new each year, to produce around 100,000 bottles each vintage. A new bodega in Ollauri was completed just in time for the 2006 vintage. This wine is aged for 14 months in French oak and it is worth noting, Valenciso only produce Reserva wines.
What does it go with:
Red meats and strong cheeses of course but also game or even a game pie.
What the press say:
Valenciso Rioja Reserva 2010: “Even better than the two releases that preceded it, the 2010 is a brilliant Tempranillo that highlights the qualities of the remarkable 2010 vintage. Fresh, balanced and nuanced, it combines subtle oak with delicate tannins, supported by acidity and showing savoury, spicy fruit. 2018-2028. 96 points.” Tim Atkin MW’s ‘2017 Rioja Special Report’ – also one of Tim’s ‘Wines of the Year’
Valenciso Rioja Reserva 2008: “Luis Valentin and Carmen Enciso both worked at Bodegas Palacios before setting up Valenciso (see what they did with the name there?) in the Rioja Alta in 1998. This is boutique winemaking (production never exceeds 10,000 cases) that splits the difference between traditional and modern by using exclusively French oak barriques, but always looks for pure fruit, elegance and freshness rather than brute force. The Top 100 judges were impressed by a “seriously classy Rioja, with punchy fruit and some smoky notes on the nose, while the palate gives loads of lush ripe fruit”.” The Wine Merchant ‘Top 100’ 2015, Judges Comments
2008 Vintage: “This wine is, year in, year out, among the best in its category. I’m talking about the red 2008 Valenciso Reserva, an explosive, aromatic, perfumed Tempranillo that mixes the more common strawberries, raspberries and cherries with more unusual violets and subtle spices with plenty of nuances and changing details, elegant and complex, starting to develop some tertiary characteristics. Perhaps some aromas are derived from the fact that the uncrushed grapes fermented in cement vats, a process that sometimes provoke intense aromatics. Also, the malolactic was very slow and did not finish until the spring/summer. The palate is lush, full and round, with sophisticated glossy tannins and good acidity. Add to this the effect of the 17 months in French oak that brought some spicy flavours, but that did not dry the wine at all. A beauty…. Valenciso produce balanced, elegant and reliable Riojas that show the perfect marriage of tradition and modernity. Anything with their name is worth trying. 93 points.” Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate, April 2015