Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 92pts:
They use only oak from the Caucasus for the barrel-fermented 2016 Valenciso Blanco, as they think the fine-grained wood allows for better balance between fruit and oak. It's a blend of Viura with 30% Garnacha Blanca from old vines in the villages of Villalba, Haro and Ollauri, fermented with indigenous yeasts and kept in 20% new barrels for six months. This is always elegant and balanced, true to the house style, a clean, classical, updated profile with character, freshness and very good balance. It's very tasty and long. 3,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in April 2017
From the importer:
A classic Rioja Blanco style with a modern interpretation. Originating from a very old vineyard of mixed grape varieties, Valenciso decided to produce this limited production white. Hand-harvested grapes are elaborated in Caucasian oak barrels for a gentle touch. Aromas of lively fruit show finesse with subtle creaminess, spice notes and restrained oak presence. Long, persistent and refined.
Founded for the 1998 vintage by Luis Valentín and Carmen Enciso, (Valen-Ciso), Rioja natives with extensive experience in the making, tasting and commercialization of Rioja wines. Minority partners include former managers of Radoux, makers of the finest French oak barriques, and growers in the best areas of the Rioja Alta. Aromatic volume rather than physical weight (in the manner of French Burgundy and the greatest Riojas of the past) is the Valenciso ideal.
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