Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Faustino V 2013 Reserva Rioja

Faustino V Rioja

Rioja is Spain’s most famous red wine region. The wines are delicious and the Reserva wines turn things up a notch.

Rioja To The Rescue

The Green Dragon knows her wine. But even a knowledgeable wine lover like my wife can use an occasional assist. While searching for a special bottle for my birthday, she stopped in to Great Grapes in Cary and asked for recommendations.

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That’s one reason we urge people to patronize their local wine shops. If you are purchasing wine at a grocery store or super center, the person answering your wine questions may be the same one stocking bags of Cheese Doodles in Aisle 6. At a wine shop you can expect experience and good guidance on your purchases.

Patio Perfection

The weather here in the Triangle area of North Carolina has been a rollercoaster recently. Intense heat and humidity has alternated with rain and – a week ago – some perfect spring-like weather. We took advantage of the ideal conditions for a cookout with my birthday present wine, the Faustino V 2013 Reserva Rioja.

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The Faustino V is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Manzuelo. Manzuelo is one of the main blending grapes in Rioja and adds racy acidity, but not much in the way of aroma. Tempranillo, on the other hand, is a signature Spanish grape known for making rich wines with aging potential.

Joining Faustino at our dinner table was a perfectly grilled (in my opinion) filet mignon, baked potato and spinach salad. Rioja wines are known for their aggressive aging in American oak. Faustino V is no exception with 16 months in American white oak from Missouri. Reserva wines in Rioja must be aged a minimum of three years with at least one year in barrel and six months in bottles. With that in mind, we decanted the vino before the meal.

Verdict Of The Glass

Faustino V starts as an intense wine with a power that made us do a doubletake. Even with the decanting, the tannins were muscular. A deep maroon in the glass, as we swirled, conversed and ate our meal, we began to appreciate the rich, deep flavors of plum and the sweet oakiness of the barrel aging. The tannins, at first so uninviting, began to melt away and be integrated. My big bites of juicy steak might have had something to do with it.

Bodegas Faustino has 150 years of family winemaking tradition. That tradition has been bottled and delivered up in an appealing 2013 Faustino V Reserva. We rate this Rioja Reserva highly, especially when accompanying grilled red meats.

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