2009 Valenciso Reserva Rioja (Previously $40)
The nose here shows discreet dark berries, walnuts and some dried bark in the background. Full-bodied with fine tannins and a long finish. Pretty polish and austerity. Drink or hold.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Reserva from Valenciso is a classic Rioja produced with grapes from Rioja Alta in search of the classical profile combining freshness, elegance and power. 2009 was a warm and healthy harvest when they picked earlier to keep the freshness. The destemmed but uncrushed grapes fermented in cement tanks where it underwent malolactic. It matured in one-third new French oak barrels for some 17 months. There are some notes of leather, licorice and fountain pen ink, over a core of ripe berry fruit, with some spicy notes from the oak and a faint animal character. The palate is medium-bodied with some dusty, slightly rustic tannins and a dry finish.
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)