Color - Intense, bright cherry red.
Bouquet - Aromatic and complex, with notes of tobacco, cedar and leather against a background of ripe fruit, jam and spices.
Taste - Powerful yet velvety, with flavors of rich red fruit, licorice and minerals and smooth, ripe tannins.
Wine Enthusiast 91 points - Rusty and mature looking, this is woodsy, dry and rooty on the nose, with whiffs of tree bark and tobacco running alongside cherry and berry notes. It’s mature, with flavors of stewed plum, herbs and spice that are straight from the textbook, while the finish is dry, earthy and showing core acidity. Drink now.
Decanter 97 points - Decanter average score: 19.25pts/20 (97/100pts)
Individual judges scores: Pedro Ballesteros MW 20 Ben Henshaw 18.5
Annette Scarfe MW 19
Faustino (founded 1860) with its iconic frosted bottles and portrait labels is one of Riojas most easily recognised brands. It’s a family business based in Oyon in Rioja Alavesa, and the largest private holder of vineyards in Rioja, spread across the region. The style of the RIoja is as classic as the packaging: look for the sweet, vanilla notes of American oak, plenty of bright cherry fruit, and a fine, delicate palate. For those interested in tasting great old Riojas, Faustino is one company that still releases older vintages going as far back as 1970. Among the other wineries it owns is Portia in Ribera del Duero.
Pedro Ballesteros MW Deliciously decadent, with extraordinary vitality on the palate and a long, unique finish. A jewel at this price.
Ben Henshaw Complex nose, quite grippy but fresh and moreish. A touch dry, but amazing fruit. Classy, complex and long.
Annette Scarfe MW A more restrained, mineral style with elegant tannins. Youthful, feminine and complex with a long length. A classic Rioja that is still fresh after 12 years, with more to come.
Alc 13.5% (Sep 2015)
Wine Advocate 88 points - The 2001 Faustino I Gran Reserva is a modern rendition of the old-time classical Riojas, with black rather than red fruit notes and developed aromas of leather and game, black licorice and Chinese ink. It’s medium-bodied, with good acidity and it has a slightly dry finish. I’d have expected a bit more meat and concentration from this vintage. Drink 2014-2019. (Dec 2013)
Rioja Alavesa, Spain
From mature vines (planted in the mid-1960s) in Faustino’s estate vineyards in Rioja, Spain.
|Wine maker notes
|Grapes are de-stemmed and undergo fermentation at 86°F. The grapes then goes through a 27-day maceration period with light pumping over, followed by malolactic fermentation. The wines age for 28 months in oak (80% American and 20% French) and spend 36 months aging in the bottle before they are released, for a total ageing of 64 months.
|85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, 5% Mazuelo
|Flavorful fish like tuna , red meat, game and medium cured cheeses such as Manchego and emmental.
|Bodegas Faustino is located in Oyon – Álava. It enjoys a well-deserved international reputation after more than 150 years of experience in the production and aging of premium wines. The winery has 650 hectares of vineyards in the heart of Rioja Alavesa, between Laguardia and Oyon villages (in the North of Spain).
The fourth generation family business, has become a leader in the production and exportation of high quality wines.