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Rioja is one of the world’s most famous wine growing regions and this winery, Vina Valoria, can brag that they’ve been producing wines from the area since the 60s….1860’s that is! That makes Vina Valoria the fifth oldest producer in the region and one of only ten producers to be allowed to release “old vintages” from before 1980.
NZ Master of Wine Steve Bennett regularly travels through Europe sniffing, swirling and spitting his way through thousands of wines to find the best and the best of the best to chuck on a boat and bring into Aotearoa. He’s done the hard work for you in finding this seriously impressive Rioja Gran Reserva label.
Vina Valoria Rioja Gran Reserva is the traditional Rioja wine made with 100% Tempranillo (temp-rah-knee-oh) from the very best parcels of fruit from a vineyard in Fuenmayor, Rioja Alta.
To be labelled Gran Reserva it has to follow strict Rioja wine laws – aged for a minimum of 5 years including a minimum of 24 months in oak (this one got 36 months in American oak!). With over 13 years under its belt already this has aged into something pretty damn special – bold, powerful, spicy red fruit flavours and incredible smooth, mellow tannins.
Dust off the cork screw (you’ll need it here!) and pair this Spanish beauty with roasted and grilled red meats, especially lamb, as well as mature cheeses and hearty stews. Drinking well now but no rush, this guy will comfortably cellar for another decade or more.