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Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo are the three classic Rioja grape varieties. Graciano provides a festive colour and high acidity; Mazuelo flavour, abundant tannin, and Tempranillo are the perfect coupage for long-

- ageing wines. True to Rioja, true to its origins. Cherry red develops into an intense ruby colour. Intense and complex. Well-integrated sweet and warm hints with ripe fruit, notes of vanilla and sensations of cinnamon, blond tobacco and cocoa.

Elegant in the mouth, structured and with good acidity. The finish is sweet and surprising for a Rioja Gran Reserva. There is an aftertaste of the blend of very ripe fruit, vanilla and roasted notes.

Excellent bottle age and vintage(2011 is a reasonably good vintage in Rioja, re Decanter)

  1. fantastic scores at 94/93 points level(Guia Penin, JS, WE, Decanter)

  2. 2011 is a wine to keep(J Robinson)

  3. perfect provenance(frosted Burgundy-style bottle with a label bearing a Rembrandt style portrait of a Spaniard and the bottle itself wrapped with a thin, twisted-gold-wire mesh)

  4. being the top Gran Reserva from Faustino, with the Roman numeral I( the middle range is V and the entry-level VII).

Vivino tasters generally comment positively. Canadian tasters seem to say that the fruit is not dropping. Against all the odds, most tasters will agree that the wine gives tastes with some complexities, complexing, elegance, style, classicism and length and is still fresh in the way of Rioja.

Scores are impressive.

After all these years, what continues to impress us is the fruit freshness that added to the classic style of liquorice, menthol and fresh minerals, and the class and balance on the palate. With a chalky finish, there is adequate concentration, power and finesse—the elegant tannins for this excellent and long wine.

Scores and comments are impressive, such as:

WE95. This beautiful wine is fresh with acidity and structured with a mineral texture. Layers of creamy citrus and white fruit flavours accompany well-integrated wood ageing touches. It's a wine to drink for its freshness soon, although it will also benefit from several years of ageing. It will be best from 2018. Edited.

VindeVerte95. The nose is fruity, floral and spicy. The palate is fruity, fleshy, and complex, with good volume and a beautiful structure. The attack reveals a beautiful smoothness. The mouth reveals a beautiful and precise aroma of ripe black fruits, highlighted by some spicy and woody notes. The tannins are well integrated. Good length. The finish is fruity and tannic—a very "gourmand" wine. Edited.

Very consistent Rosso from a Super Tuscan. Indigo coloured; tight rim. On the first nose, ripe and intense black fruits(blackberries, plums and ripe black cherries over more subtle cocoa notes, liquorice and sweet spice. It seems brooding, with some complexities(from a mix of grapes) and is accessible on the palate- juicy with nuances of tar, coffee and chocolate. Quite wooded but still harmonious. Medium body soft tannins and medium finish, yet very structured, created impressions of length and intensity. Sweetish finish; tannins and wood spices support throughout(this long?!). Minty. Simple though. A piece of good lamb rack will be perfect.

This youthful offering from Tua Rita is 50% Sangiovese and 50% blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, harvested in September from vineyards foothills of Suvereto, a small hilltop village in Tuscany. After a gentle pressing, the wine aged three months in French oak barriques and stainless steel tanks.

Impressive score, for example, JS93. 'A pretty red with blackberries, blueberries, sage, and dried flowers. Medium body with light, fine tannins and a fresh finish. One of the best I have had. Drink now or hold. ' ( Edited)

This is a consolidation of the tasting and papers

written from 2006 to 2013. These write-ups had been with the orginal site Wine and Beyond, Yahoo, until the service stopped by Yahoo in September 2013.


For years I have been working with wines, either buying it, selling it to wine companies, lecturing and writing about it, and, not unimportantly, enjoying it with friends. If any of the articles on this site are worth reading it is due to my teachers, my mentors, my peers and friends, my students, and in particularly my editors who ignite in me a desire to communicate in wines.


Clinging to the trellis of wine, I started to get more and more involved with estates and winemakers, by supporting them with consultancy in communication and marketing. The more I spend my time outside Hong Kong, the more I sense a desire to be part of the international wine family.


Writing about wine represents a moment of reflection, curiosity, atitudes and a desire to analyse often hidden structures and history, in an effort to make the wealth of wine accessible to a targetted, and hopefully larger audience.


I am not sure if I can wine proivde more accessible to all through this blog. But I am sure to write in wine means being involved in wine and  to remain as impartial and objective as possible.


Kevin Tang.

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