image Old-school Rioja rocks


Far from a wine that jumps up and comes bounding over to you, tail a-wagging, tongue a-panting, all eager to please, the Faustino Rioja Gran Reserva is decidedly restrained. Noble and distinguished, many say. On the nose, it’s a confluence of wet rocks, toast, cloves and leather. On the palate, it’s lightly spicy and full of velvety tannins. Ends on a satisfying note and a long, lingering finish.

The Gran Reserva exhibits all the hallmarks of a traditional style of Rioja, which has gone through slow fermentation, a lot of time ageing in oak and bottle before release. If all you’ve tried are new world-style Riojas with their abundant fresh fruits, bright acidity and bold flavors, you will want to give this traditionalist a try.

One of Spain’s great bodegas, Faustino dates back to 1861 and is today, amazingly, still family-owned. Certainly among the great value red wines out there.



  1. Nice article. I have always enjoyed the Faustino (both I and V). Before she passed away, I bought my Spanish mother a bottle of Faustino from 1975 and it was, as she said, a bit harsh. “With some olive oil it will make a nice salad dressing” she said. 🙂


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