Product Type: Faustino Wine
Newest Review: ... £12, far more than I like to pay! Faustino V reserva rioja comes in a dark bottle with orange label. It is produced by the 1,625 acre Bode... more
Robust Rioja Reserva - Recommended
Faustino V Reserva - Rioja
Member Name: fizzywizzy
Faustino V Reserva - Rioja
Advantages: Tastes great; easy to find in supermarkets; frequently on offer
Disadvantages: Need to shop around to avoid paying too much
Faustino is one of the great names of Spanish winemaking - the group was founded over 140 years ago - and it's a brand you'll find in supermarkets as well as specialist wine stores. In recent years I've found that the space on supermarket shelves has increasingly been taken up with the big brand names and I've found it harder and harder to find something interesting and unusual, but if there is one brand I'm happy to buy it's Faustino. As a group Faustino produces all kinds of wines - roses, sparkling whites, both classic and modern reds and whites - but it's the red riojas that I most associate with the Faustino name and if I can't see another rioja that appeals I know I can count on Faustino. This red rioja (Faustino also make a whote rioja)comes from Faustino's vineyards in northern Spain.
If we see it on offer we'll buy a bottle or two of Faustino V; Faustino wines do look very similar so you need to check which one you're buying. With closer inspection you'll see that although the bottles look superficially similar, each one bears a different picture painted (for the most part) by Rembrandt or El Greco; Faustino V depicts the composer Gluck, I believe. Priced on average between £10.00 and £15.00, Faustino V is a Reserva Rioja, a bit more special than the standard Faustino VII.
This is a typical rioja, instantly recognisable if it's a type of wine you're familiar with. The grapes are tempranillo (92%) and mazuelo (8%) and the wine is aged for 16 months in Californian oak casks. Colour wise I find it slightly brighter than most riojas, more towards a cherry red than a very dark red. Opening the bottle releases a warm aroma that has a rich slightly spicy sweetness; vanilla is quite prominent and there's a wonderful toasty note that must come from the oak casks. The aroma of fruit is intense and to my nose this comes in the form of late summer or autumn berries; it's fruity but very sensual and almost mulled but not quite as medicinal as a mulled wine might smell.
Rioja is not a wine for the faint hearted; it's a wine with a lot of tradition and it's a lot more of an acquired taste than the easy drinking wines that make the supermarket shelves groan. For me a Faustino rioja, even Faustino VII, is a wine to go with food, not one for just drinking. Faustino V has a bold and dramatic flavour but it is a rounded wine and after the initial punch it reveals itself to be deep and smooth. The finish is lingering but not in a heavy way.
The robust flavours of stewed fruit in this wine are the perfect compliment to red meat such as lamb. I find it goes particularly well with a spicy lamb tagine but it's also good with a spicy chicken curry. It does fight a bit with strong cheeses but goes nicely with milder ones. If you're looking for a good robust red to go with a Sunday roast, you won't be disappointed by Faustino V.
Right now we're buying the 2005 Reserva; it's great drinking right now but you can certainly put it by for a few years and enjoy it at some time in the future. Now is a good time to snap up a few bottles because ASDA are currently selling this at just £8.00, down from £10.48; even their full price is good value because some on line retailers are selling this for a touch over £15 at the time of writing (December 2012).
Summary: A good and affordable example of a red rioja
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