Tasting notes : Valenciso Rioja Blanco
Valenciso Rioja Blanco. Complex aromas combining floral characters with preserved lemon and gently smoky notes. The palate is intense and broad with nuts, stone fruit, minerality and balancing citrus acidity on the finish. Will continue to develop in the bottle.
A white wine that will benefit from decanting. Serve with hake, saffron and mustard mash.
Grapes are sourced from 80 year old vines on clay, stone soil in the North of the Rioja Alta area. So these vineyards are of outstanding quality. Sustainable viticultural practices are followed. Fermented in stainless steel for around 24 hours until fermentation begins (using indigenous yeasts) then transferred to 225 litre Caucasian oak barrels for 9 months.
Valenciso was established in 1998 as a collaboration between ex Bodegas Palacios’ Luis Valentin and Carmen Enciso. With a wealth of experience in Rioja wine production, they decided to focus on just one style of wine. For instance, a classically structured, subtle and elegantly fine Reserva.
Situated in the town of Ollauri, just 4 km from Haro. That is to say they are at the north-west limit of Rioja Alta – with vineyards in Ollauri, Briones, Haro, Rodezno and Villalba. At altitudes of 400-600m, the climate here has a strong Atlantic influence. And the wind that blows in the summer evenings cools the grapes to enhance acidity, finesse and aromatic complexity.
Certainly from the very beginning Luis and Carmen have had a clear vision. They follow sustainable viticulture, do not use irrigation, and do not fine their wine. Significantly, they use concrete tanks for vinification, a strong statement when across Rioja traditional concrete tanks have been replaced with stainless steel. But they believe this is best in order to craft wines with longevity, and maintain freshness and vibrancy.
Above all, it is this quiet determination, integrity and emphasis on quality that have made this small winery one of the most respected by Rioja lovers and wine writers alike. The results speak for themselves.