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  • Writer's pictureToronto Vintners Club

Bodegas Faustino I Gran Reserva - 45 year Vertical

This was a exciting opportunity for our members to taste through 45 year of the same wine in one sitting. As a result we had a great turn out and a lively discussion on how the wine has changed through the years. Our guest speaker and guide was Paul Sturgess, IWEG associate and founder of Tinto Fino. Full event description is available here.

The Wines

1964 Faustino I Gran Reserva $244

“The vintage of the 20th century!” “With its dried-cherry and rose-petal aromas and flavors, this beautiful, mature red is every bit the equivalent of a fine, older Bordeaux or Burgundy. Cumin and cinnamon show on the palate and the refined finish is lovely, with anise and white pepper accents.” 94 points. Wine Enthusiast.

1970 Faustino I Gran Reserva $159

“The revolution year. An outstanding and large vintage.” “Beautifully balanced, this shows all the positive attributes of mature Rioja. Though 30 years old, it is still very alive, with deep sweet fruit that wears tobacco and meat accents. Anise accents the ultrasmooth palate. Full of complex flavors, with a lingering finish.” 92 points. Wine Enthusiast.

1987 Faustino I Gran Reserva $80

Notes from the Winemaker: “1987 was a sleeper year, cool and quiet, leading to wines of great respectable quality. This still youthful Gran Reserva shows the tradition and depth of the Faustino label: intense earthy wood, toasty leather, and exotic spices, on a fragile palate of dried cherry blossom.”

1994 Faustino I Gran Reserva $72

“Deep, sweet dark-cherry fruit forms a solid foundation for this impressive wine. There's a touch of menthol oak on the nose; plenty of leather and earth accents in the mouth, coupled with good acidity, keep the palate complex and lively. Finishes long, with full—but not harsh— tannins.” Editors' Choice. 92 points. Wine Enthusiast

2001 Faustino I Gran Reserva $55

“A Master Vintage. Awarded as the Best Wine in the World in 2013 by Decanter Magazine.” The 2001 Faustino I Gran Reserva is a modern rendition of the old-time classical Riojas, with black rather than red fruit notes and developed aromas of leather and game, black licorice and Chinese ink. It’s medium-bodied, with good acidity and it has a slightly dry finish. I’d have expected a bit more meat and concentration from this vintage. Drink 2014-2019. 88 points Luis Gutiérrez

2005 Faustino I Gran Reserva $36

“Excellent Rioja and Vintage of the 21st Century so far.” “The 2005 Faustino I Gran Reserva has a classical, oaky profile, with developed aromas but still keeping some fruit. The palate is medium-bodied and polished, but I expected a little more weight and depth. This brand represents around 40% of the total Gran Reserva Rioja sold in the world with 520,000 bottles produced.” 89 points Luis Gutiérrez,

2006 Faustino I Gran Reserva $28

Decanter World Wine Awards 2018, recognized the 2006 vintage of the iconic Faustino I with a gold medal. “Smooth, welcoming aromas of cola, black fruits and integrated oak are soft and indicate that this is ready to drink. A plump, sappy palate delivers ripe berry and chocolate flavors, while this is fleshy on a finish weighted down by berry pulp.” Drink through 2021. 91 points. Wine Enthusiast. 2009

2009 Faustino I Gran Reserva $35

“Still showing quite youthful with red fruit sitting up next to spicy cedar-sandalwood notes that will need some time to fold in. The palate is silky-smooth, with gentle tannins, balanced acids and very good to excellent length. It's a classic in the making, likely best after 2025, considering the long track record of Faustino I.” 90 points. John Szabo,

How the wines were ranked

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