Fabulous Faustino

I make no apologies for writing yet another review for this superb Spanish Rioja, and I’ve said it before, it’s like welcoming back an old friend. With probably the most recognisable label in the wine world with its portrait of Rembrandt adorning the bottle, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Faustino Gran Reserva

My earliest memories of this wine were seeing these bottles lined up on the shelves and noticing how they stood out with their frosted glass and gold wire meshing, they actually still look good amongst the rows of fairly nondescript labels on the shelves nowadays.

There’s a real old school feel about opening one of these and what’s inside is pretty old school as well. Being a big fan of Rioja this is exactly what I’d be looking for, for a start, it just looks traditionally Spanish, conjures up images of sitting outside a sleepy bar, flamenco music playing, church incense in the air and a table full of tasty Tapas.

Faustino I Gran Reserva 2001

Faustino 2001 Gran Reserva Rioja

In the glass, the colour reflects its age, deep garnet with rusty-brown tinge around the edge. A blend of (Graciano, Mazuelo and Tempranillo). Full-on aromas of dried cherries, plums, blackberries, cloves, tobacco, old leather, candle wax and vanilla.

Straight from the bottle it tastes good, left to the air for a while to soften slightly it is even better. Elegant and silky smooth still retaining some acidity and freshness of fruit considering its age, with ripe rich blackberries and dark cherries. There is some spice, oak and tannins which are all beautifully balanced, vanilla is prominent giving it a slight sweetness and the finish is long and satisfying.

Had a couple of bottles in my rack, which have been there for a while now, so I’ve still, got one to open which I will again soon as I think it’s probably at its peak, although saying that, it may well have a few more years to get even better.

Considering it was a mass-produced wine, this is pretty damned good, if you can still find a bottle snap it up, you won’t be disappointed, not cheap though!

Cork ratings
My rating 9/10 corks
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