The 2012 is just the sixth release of this wonderful and unconventional Rioja. As before, the Tempranillo here is sourced from Valenciso’s highest parcel of vines, a 75-year-old vineyard in Villalba. This parcel produces exceptional, ripe fruit with high acidity that is perfectly bred for long aging. Fermented wild, the wine initially ages in a 50-hectolitre concrete tank for five years, then rests for 40 months in low-toast Caucasian oak (the same barrels Valenciso uses for the Rioja Blanco). It was released in 2022, 10 years after the harvest, hence the name 10 Años Después (‘10 Years After’).
Interestingly, the extended aging in concrete results in no loss of colour and has only seemed to intensify the wine’s fruit purity and aromatic expression. Again, tasted in Spain this year, it looks so fresh and vibrant with radiant raspberry sweetness, pine-scented fruit, and a deep core of iodine-like complexity underpinned by silk-spun tannins and a classy, gliding finish. Sheer brilliance that—like all the wines from this exemplary estate—should not be missed.