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Drinking a Valenciso Rioja Reserva is the gastronomical equivalent of listening to a great symphony. The 2004 Valenciso Reserva is a flawlessly balanced piece that resonates with perfect pitch. The bouquet of this beautiful Rioja releases aromas of earth and dark fruits, cedar, spice and cacao that could ensure rapture. In the mouth, the Valenciso Reserva caresses the palate with lush, textured fruit, followed by layers of complex flavors that are long and ever evolving. Infused in the wine’s hedonistic fruit lies a satisfying draught of sandalwood, cinnamon, dark chocolate, and tobacco that dances across the palate and lingers for up to a minute or more after slipping down the throat. Velvety tannins add structure and support to the 2004 Valenciso Reserva as well as assurance that this glorious Rioja will continue to induce pleasure for many years to come. We suggest serving this extraordinary Rioja Reserva at cool room temperature (60º-64º F) after a half hour or more of aeration.
Fine wine such as the 2004 Valenciso Rioja Reserva deserves culinary complements of comparable stature. A complex, elegantly wrought Rioja, the Valenciso Reserva pairs extremely well with both traditional specialties of the Ebro River region of Spain and classic continental favorites. One will never go astray with an appetizer of wild mushrooms sautéed in olive oil and garlic followed by an entrée of grilled lamb chops. Yet, we also recommend a traditional stew, prepared a la riojana with chicken or game birds, white beans, chorizo sausage, peppers, paprika, and tomatoes. Venison stew in a thick brown sauce and venison tenderloin also provide some of our most memorable pairings with this wine. If by chance a quick meal, a comfortable chair by the fire, and a great book are simultaneously calling your name, whip together a potato, garlic, onion, and chorizo omelet, fix a plate of fine Spanish cheeses with a loaf of crusty bread, or simply order in a rotisserie chicken, and lose your senses in an astounding glass of 2004 Valenciso Reserva. Salud!
The Compania Bodeguera de Valenciso is the artistry of Luis Valentin and Carmen Enciso. The name Valenciso, a combination of the proprietors’ two last names, was born when the partners left their respective positions at one of Rioja’s oldest and most prestigious bodegas. With a shared vision of creating a truly boutique Rioja in their own cellar, Luis and Carmen have created one of the finest and most seductive of all Rioja wines. Their dream has come to life in the outstanding offerings that now flow harmoniously and joyfully from their bodega to our glasses.
The secret to the nearly instantaneous success of Valenciso is the criteria Luis and Carmen apply to their wines. All of Valenciso’s wines are made in small lots or cuvees. Each relies upon the greatness of old vine Tempranillo, the grape varietal that steals the heart and defines the soul of Rioja. In addition, yields in the vineyard are kept draconically small in order to fashion wines of finesse, flavor, and symphonic harmony. Moreover, only small barriques are used for aging, a third of which are renewed annually. French oak predominates and all of it is of cork “flor” quality, the highest level possible. Yet, without expert winemaking, all of these measures would be of marginal value at best. With a string of successes that began with Valenciso’s inaugural vintage in 2000, Luis and Carmen have come to realize their dream. Presently, only Rioja Reserva is made at Valenciso, and no wine is released until it is at least four years of age.
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