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Valenciso Rioja Blanco 2016
- Great Domaines
- Tim Atkin
- The Wine Advocate
all ratings out of 100 points.
""There are two unusual things about this wine: first it's a blend of Viura with 30% Garnacha Blanca; and second, it's fermented in Russian wood. Made with malolactic, the Valenciso Blanco is an old-vine cuvée of considerable intensity and finesse, with white flower aromas, notes of honeysuckle and aniseed and pithy, focused acidity." - Tim Atkin, MW
70% Viura and 30% Garnacha Blanca
2018 - 2025
33% new french barrique for 16 months
From humble beginnings in the Rioja Alta region in 1998, Luis Valentin and Carmen Enciso have come a long way. Starting out in rented space, it was only in 2009 that they had a cellar to call their own. Their name, Valenciso, is a portmanteau of their surnames (Valentin & Enciso) and reflects their 28 years of combined experience in Rioja. Starting out with just 24 000 bottles in 1998, made completely independently, Valenciso is now an army of seven. Their collective mission is simple: to place quality before quantity, and to produce a rich, elegant, benchmark Rioja.
Production has since increased to 100 000 bottles a year, although 70% remains within the borders for the Spaniards to enjoy. Although a little bit of white is made each year, Valenciso focusses on only one wine, a Reserva. The 12 hectares of low-yielding vineyards are 100% Tempranillo, providing only 5 tons per hectare (25% of the region’s average yield). Aging is done in French barriques, usually for 12 - 16 months. The philosophy is simple: maturation is equally split between new, second, and third fill barrels.
We were lucky enough to have lunch with Luis on a recent trip. We like his style - he insisted on opening only magnums for us to drink! Expect a delicate aromatic wine with a full and fragrant bouquet. Firm tannins allow for excellent aging potential.