Rioja Reserva – 2014

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.

The Wine

Vineyard Profile

From Ollauri, Briones, Rodezno, Haro and Villalba estate vineyards in the north of Rioja Alta.

  • Altitude: 1663-2000 feet/507–610 meters
  • Soils: Clay-calcareous, chalky-white
  • Vineyards benefit from Altantic ocean influence
  • Sustainably farmed, currently using organic practices
Harvest Notes
  • Hand harvested
  • Fermented in concrete vats
  • Spontaneous malolactic fermentation in vat
  • Aged 18 months in 95% French, 5% Caucasian oak
  • Wine transfered back to concrete vats for 12 months to naturally stabilize and settle
Winemaker's Notes

A polished, tightly wound and elegant wine with refined floral/spice aromatics is supported by fine tannins for a silky texture, leading to a persistent finish of red berries and subtle oak.

Wine Summary

100% Tempranillo; alcohol: 14.5%; Ollauri, Briones, Rodezno, Haro and Villalba estate vineyards in the north of Rioja Alta between 1663–2000 feet; clay-calcareous soils; hand harvested; fermented in concrete vats using only indigenous yeasts; spontaneous fermentation in vat; aged 18 months in 95% French, 5% Caucasian oak; wine transferred to concrete for 12 months to naturally settle before bottling.

Technical Information
  • 100% Tempranillo
  • Alcohol: 14.5%


91 Points

A classic Tempranillo of Rioja character. Perfectly ripe black fruits, with toasty notes from the French oak. In the mouth it is suavely textured, well grained, with cherry and some more savoury notes to finish. 2022 – 2034

Decanter, November, 2021

93 Points

I tasted again the red 2014 Reserva, which seems to have integrated in bottle since I tasted it some 16 months ago. It’s a lighter expression of Valenciso that is developing more complex aromas, and the acidity and tannins are slowly being resolved. They say it’s the most modern among the classics and the most classic among modern Reservas. 2020 – 2026

© Wine Advocate, October, 2020

General Info

PROPRIETORS Luis Valentín and Carmen Enciso
WINEMAKER Luis Valentín and Carmen Enciso
FARMING (SUSTAINABLE, ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC) Organically farmed since 2006 – no herbicides, pesticides or insecticides