The Faustino red wine range: Faustino I, Faustino V and the restThe Faustino name is recognised as a quality and reliable producer. Pick up a Faustino red wine and you can be sure that you’re getting a well-made Rioja at a fair price. The portfolio ranges from entry-level and young, through to Reserva and Gran Reserva levels. To better understand Faustino I in context, here’s a refresher on its brothers and sisters:
- Faustino Crianza and Faustino VII, easy-drinking Rioja Crianza wines
- Faustino V, a Rioja Reserva with added complexity
- Faustino I, the Gran Reserva and top of the range
Faustino I: What’s the competition?Gran Reserva Rioja is some of the finest wine in the world. To meet Gran Reserva standards, a wine must be aged for at least two years in oak, and a further three years in the bottle. Many producers routinely exceed this guideline, and indeed Faustino I’s current release has been aged for a whopping 28 months in oak. Faustino I is not the only game in town, though. Here’s a low-down of the other top Gran Reserva Rioja wines:
- Sierra Cantabria Gran Reserva 2006, which is keenly priced for a wine of this level. The producer is well-regarded and the wine is very reliable indeed.
- Marqués de Villamagna Gran Reserva 2002, a mature Gran Reserva boasting an 89-point score from Guía Peñín.
- Marqués de Riscal Gran Reserva 2006 comes from a producer virtually as famous as Faustino I. This bodega produces consistently strong wines at every level, and its Gran Reserva is superb. With 94 points from Guía Peñín and 91 from Robert Parker, this one is more popular with the critics than Faustino I.
- Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2005 is a serious step up in quality. The producer, La Rioja Alta, is one of the region’s very best for premium wines. At twice the price of many other Gran Reserva Rioja wines, this may not match with all budgets, but you certainly get what you pay for: This is a top, top Rioja and has received excellent critics’ scores, including 96 points from Robert Parker and 95 from Guía Peñín.
- Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2007 is close to perfection in terms of the Rioja Gran Reserva style. It doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth every penny. 95+ from Robert Parker, 95 from Guía Peñín and 92 from Wine Spectator. Castillo Ygay Rioja enjoys a stellar reputation, and this is why! Fans of Faustino I should seriously try this one out!