Faustino, with its iconic frosted bottles and portrait labels, is one of Rioja's most easily recognised brands(Rembrandt label, the satin opaque Burgundian bottle and its striking golden net). With this traditional outfit, the great classic from Rioja has withstood every fashion trend so far. It is only released for sale when it promises full enjoyment; after a minimum twenty-five months in French and American oak barrels plus at least three years in the bottle. In extraordinary vintages like 1964, 1970, 2001 and 2009, the demand for this Gran Reserva soars yet it remains affordable for everybody. Its down-to-earth price makes this Gran Reserva a people’s icon, a democratic wine.
Deep ruby coloured, also a very tight garnet rim, the 2009's first nose gives chocolate, and sweet notes of spices and cloves and the other fresh cherry with sandalwood, vanilla. The palate provides intense cherry fruit (both black and red), fresh strawberries with a 'creamy' texture that you can find in an excellent aged Rioja. The structure is well-integrated acid, and a light tannin kept it moreish and pleasant, while touches of dark chocolate, meaty and liquorice characters brought up the back palate.
There seems to have no reason you should not buy this wine unless the traditionally tertiary style of Rioja Gran Reserva is not your cup of tea.
Excellent bottle age and vintage(2009 is a reasonably good vintage in Rioja, re Decanter)
fantastic scores at 93 points level(WE, Decanter)
2009 is a wine to keep(J Robinson)
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)
being the top Gran Reserva from Faustino, with 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.
93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
"Classic Rioja aromas of vanilla, spice, tobacco and dried berry fruits carry this wine. On the palate, this warm-vintage gran reserva has energy from well-stored acidity, while the flavors include cherry, plum, mocha and a plethora of spices. Chocolate and tobacco flavors along with general warmth crowd the finish. Drink through 2030."
93 Points, Decanter
"Plenty of characteristic toasty oak aromas. Harmonious and perfectly balanced palate, with lovely juicy fruit underpinned by lively acidity."
92 Points, Vinous Antonio Galloni
"Amber-rimmed red. Displays smoky, oak-spice-tinged red fruit, rose pastille and cigar box aromas that show very good delineation and mineral lift. Smooth, broad and sweet on the palate, offering cherry-cola, chewing tobacco, coconut and fruitcake flavors that pick up a spicy nuance on the back half. Definitely ripe but there's good energy here as well. Finishes smooth, smoky and impressively long, with just a hint of fine-grained tannins that lend gentle final grip."
92 Points, James Suckling
"Fresh and focused with aromas of blackberries, black olives and violets. Medium-to full-bodied. Very fine tannins and polish. Long and beautiful. Shows energy and brightness. Delicious now."