The wine of the month
Faustino I, Gran Reserva, 2011
3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP
October 2022: Faustino I, Gran Reserva, 2011 (18 EUR/18 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Rioja, Spain, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (85 points of 100 points) (31-10-2022 by Nenad Jelisic)
This vintage has better flavour richness, aroma richness, tannin structure and acidity than the previous vintage, 2010, which got 3,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (80 points of 100 points). The aroma is concentrated, spicy and deep with distinct vanilla, cardamom, sweet tobacco, as in exclusive Cuban cigars, dates, coconut, black cherry jam, blackberry jam and hints of cinnamon and dill. The flavour is spicy, but slightly less concentrated than the aroma, with distinct coconut, milk chocolate, freshly brewed coffee, dark berries and hint of vanilla. The flavours of the wine, especially the sweet ones, marry well with the good acidity of the wine. To get all this for 18 EUR/18 USD is incredible. This is without doubt one of the better Rioja-Gran Reserva-wines that I have tasted for a long time.
Faustino I, Gran Reserva, 2011 should be served with boiled veal in dill sauce and boiled potatoes or with creamy pasta (new) with bacon, basil, sundried tomatoes and small pieces of chicken legs files or with Wiener Schnitzel (veal) with roast potatoes, anchovy fillets and drained capers or with minced moose steak with mushrooms and roasted root vegetables. It should be drunk at 16 to 18°C from real Bordeaux glasses, if possible, from Orrefors, Kosta Boda, Spiegelau or Riedel.
The wine consists of 100% Tempranillo. The grapes for Faustino I Gran Reserva come from Rioja Alavesa. The soil in Rioja Alavesa consists of yellow calcareous clay, ferrous-clay and river sludge. The grapes are picked and sorted by hand. After the very careful selections in both the vineyards and the winery, the grapes are crushed and their grape mass, which consists of crushed grapes and grape juice, is macerated/fermented at a temperature of 30°C in stainless steel tanks for about 6 weeks. Then the grape mass is gently pressed, and the wine is moved to 50% French and 50% American 225 litres oak barrels (barrique) where it undergoes malolactic fermentation and is aged for about 26 months. Finally, the wine is bottled and aged for another 36 months before it is released in the market. Faustino I Gran Reserva 2011 can be aged for at least 10 years, i.e. until 2032.