2008 Valenciso Reserva Rioja

SKU #1252950 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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 can sometimes can 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 flavors, but that did not dry the wine at all. A beauty. At this price point, it is quite good value. (LG)  (4/2015)

91 points Vinous

 Brilliant ruby. Sexy, high-pitched red and dark berry scents are complemented by vanilla, cola and pipe tobacco. Sweet, palate-staining blackberry and cherry flavors are given definition and spine by juicy acidity. Supple tannins add shape to the wine's intense, sappy fruit on the long finish. (JR)  (11/2015)

K&L Notes

Based in the Rioja Alavesa town of Ollauri, Valencisco only produces one red wine: Reserva. That's the kind of focus that we respect and love. And the quality of this wine reveals itself quickly. Spicy dark fruit aromas are initially a bit quiet, but open up to a palate that shows a striking contrast between richness and elegance. Produced from carefully selected, mature Tempranillo, the wine ferments in concrete and then typically spends at least 18 months in French oak, about one-third of which is new. While this is not traditional by the overly simplified standards of "traditional" Rioja, it should age like a great traditional Rioja, given its freshness, fruit weight and fine balance at such a young age. This is certainly a winery to follow, whose wines belong in any Rioja lover's cellar. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)

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Varietal:

Tempranillo

- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.
Country:

Spain

- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.
Sub-Region:

Rioja