Valencisco Rioja Reserva 2016


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—a classically structured, subtle, and elegantly fine Reserva. 

Situated in Ollauri, just 4 km from Haro, they are at the northwest 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.

Luis and Carmen have had a clear vision from the beginning; 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 traditional concrete tanks across Rioja have been replaced with stainless steel. But they believe this is best for crafting wines that last and maintain freshness and vibrancy.

This quiet determination, integrity and emphasis on quality have made this small winery one of the most respected by Rioja lovers and wine writers alike. 

Valenciso's flagship Reserva is a selection of handpicked Tempranillo from clay and limestone soils. It is naturally fermented in concrete vats and aged for 18 months in (mostly) low-toast Radoux French oak barriques. Ten percent of the wine has also been raised in low-toast Caucasus oak, further lessening its already minimal wood influence.

Savoury aromas accompany lifted, perfumed notes of violet and blackberry. This wine shows all the elegance of the variety—tight and concentrated with spice, fine tannins, great complexity, and purity.

95 Points

Tim Atikin 

Valenciso's consistently impressive Reserva hails from 15 different parcels in the villages of Briones, Haro, Ollauri, Rodezno and Villalba. Showing the elegance of the 2016 vintage, this is a very polished performance with damson and blackcurrant fruit, fine tannins and the structure and focus to age further in bottle.


94 Points

Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate

"The balanced, young and elegant 2016 Reserva mixes characteristics from classical and more modern Rioja reds, fruit and herbs, spicy oak and some complexity and a medium-bodied palate with very good freshness and fine tannins. It's riper than you think at 14.5% alcohol and has a pH of 3.7. It fermented in concrete and matured in French barrels for 18 months."