Friday, 18 November 2011

Faustino Crianza 2005 Rioja - a delightful surprise!

I know I'm only supposed to bang on about Languedoc Rousillon and various other southern French wine regions (which are of course my speciality), but I'm not prejudiced and I do love good wine, wherever it comes from. And I especially love good, traditional Rioja, and this one's an absolute cracker. Normally, a bottle of wine will last a whole evening between TLD and I, often with a good deal left over for the next evening. But this one is so downright delicious, it has disappeared rather too quickly (though admittedly I've drank most of it myself, whilst both writing-up my notes for Part 2 of the "Rioja trilogy" and preparing dinner).......

The colour is a vibrant medium-dark cherry red with a small ruby rim, whilst the nose offers delightful aromas of redcurrants and wild strawberries, flowers, sweet spices, cinnamon, damp earth and polished wood, with subtle notes of toasty oak. The oak-ageing is beautifully done, making for a delicately fragrant, rather than "woody" wine, with the floral and fruity elements being the dominant factors. And the palate more than lives up to the promise of the nose, with an earthiness and a delicious core of vibrant red fruit and spice flavours, married to very fine tannins and juicy redcurrant/cranberry-like acidity, which positively dances over the tongue and keeps tempting me back for more. So much so that I'd almost go as far as saying this is a Rioja for Burgundy lovers. And for a wine that is categorised on the Faustino website as "modern" (I needed to get my facts right for the tech-spec) for me it has the aromatic and gustatory profile of a reassuringly "traditional" Rioja Crianza. I have to admit that I wasn't particularly expecting this to excite me - after all, Faustino Riojas are normally considered to be decent, clean, but unremarkable wines. But this is light, airy, balanced and fruity, yet wonderfully elegant and possessed of all the secondary/tertiary attributes of classic a red Rioja. It really is considerably complex stuff, and I am very enamoured by it. In fact, all I can say is Yum!! An absolute little gem of a wine, and a very, very pleasant surprise. In fact, I love it so much I've decided to get some more, and you can buy it via my online shop, at just £8.99 a bottle.

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