Rioja Blanco Barrel Fermented – 2021

Region: Spain - La Rioja


VALENCISO was born in 1998 when Luis Valentín and Carmen Enciso (Valen-Ciso, Val-en-THEECE-oh), Rioja natives with extensive experience in the region, joined their surnames to make a single wine in the winery of their dreams in La Rioja Alta.

Minority partners include former managers of Radoux, makers of the finest French oak barriques, and growers in the best areas of the Rioja Alta.

Valenciso’s objective is to produce a limited number of wines of the highest quality and authenticity. The flagship wine is released as Reserva. The very best Tempranillo grapes come from mature, low-yielding vineyards. Careful harvesting is timed to capture the intensity of the fruit, while avoiding over ripeness or excessive alcohol levels. Aromatic lift rather than physical weight – in the manner of French Burgundy and the greatest Riojas of the past – is the Valenciso ideal. Aging takes place in the finest cork-grade (flor) French oak barriques, one-third replaced each year. Time in oak depends upon vintage characteristics and is determined after exhaustive tasting. The Valenciso wines are balanced offering early accessibility, structure, fresh acidity and fruit intensity promising many years of bottle evolution.

Cement tanks are used for winemaking because they respect the vividness and contribute to the wine’s longevity. Aging in French oak barrels gives elegance and richness.


95 Points

A June hailstorm reduced the crop of Valenciso Blanco in 2021, alas, but there are still 30,000 bottles to go around. Sourced from parcels in Haro and Ollauri, with fermentation and ageing in Caucasian oak, it’s a scented, refined cuvée of Viura and 30% Garnacha Blanca, with aniseed, lemongrass and patisserie flavours and zippy supporting acidity. 2023 – 2030

Tim Atkin, February, 2023