Vina Valoria Rioja Flight with Vinos Unico

Vina Valoria Rioja Tasting MenuNow those of you that know Luis Moya (the founder of Vinos Unico) know that he is tireless. Be it touring on the 25 grapes bus, looking for new wineries to add to his portfolio or making more of his own wine he is always up to something… I’m guessing his friend knew the same when he decided to store the Vinfinity wine vacuum system in his garage while he looked for a new home for it here on the west coast. It didn’t take Luis long to start thinking about how he could put it to use. And boy aren’t we glad he did!

So what did he come up with? How about a flight of Rioja spanning 4 decades? How about being able to taste the whole flight for ~$25? You can count me in! As I’ve yet to find my wine sugar daddy with that well stocked cellar that is looking for an apprentice to teach, if you are out there do leave a comment ;), I rarely get to taste aged wines. Given that we had two on offer here the pre-dated my birth and this was certainly quite the unique opportunity. The best news for those local to the bay area? This wasn’t a one and done event. These will be on offer at Sabor of Spain in San Rafael (tasting menu above) through the end of the year. A perfect way to treat yourself during the holiday week! If you do make it out there or have had these wines before I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. And now to my notes starting with the white…

  • 2004 Viña Valoria Viura Rioja Crianza – (12.5%) 100% Viura – Dry and medium bodied with lively acidity and crisp apple and lemon flavors. The mid-palate shows a firm mineral structure with an interesting beeswax overtone. This one sees some neutral American oak which integrates nicely on the finish with hints of spice. Definitely a food friendly offering this one would go well with some seafood off the grill. If you aren’t familiar with the style of Rioja Blanco this one can serve as a classic introduction…

And now (via photo) allow me to introduce the reds…

Vina Valoria Rioja Flight with Vinos Unico
  • 2005 Viña Valoria Rioja – (12.5%) 80% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 10% Mazuelo (Carignan) – Medium colored with meaty notes, a bit of musty oak and loads of dark fruit, mint and spice on the nose. Juicy cranberry flavors greet you on the palate with nice acidity. The mid-palate is dry and leather with some tannic bite around the edges. The finish is warm and comforting. This one would have showed better had it been paired with food and will very likely improve with a few more years in the bottle.
  • 1992 Viña Valoria Rioja Gran Reserva – (12.5) 80% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 10% Mazuelo (Carignan) – Medium red in color at its core this one turns orange around the edges. Such a fantastic nose with layered subtleties I could smell this one for hours. Light to medium bodied this one is classic Rioja with dried cherry and cranberry flavors. From there a tart, acidic structure emerges with underlying mineral notes that keep this one nicely balanced throughout. The finish here shows pepper, sage and nice tingly tannins. Smooth, round and delicious! I hope to encounter another glass, or better yet bottle, of this on sometime soon…
  • 1973 Viña Valoria Rioja – (12.5) 70% Tempranillo, 20% Graciano, and 10% Mazuelo (Carignan) – More fruit on the nose here than the ’92 but much less complexity on the palate and almost lacking in acidity. This one comes across as one dimensional and a bit flat. My thought was that it was beyond its peak but according to those in the know it is more likely this one has just shut down for a while and will be back to drinking well sometime soon. Based on others tasting notes it appears that may indeed be the case…
  • 1968 Viña Valoria Rioja – (12.5) 70% Tempranillo, 20% Graciano, and 10% Mazuelo (Carignan) – Brick red at its core turning to orange on the edges. A nice nose, reminiscent of the ’92 but much more subtle belying its age. Delicate on the palate this one showed layered flavors (meat, mushroom and more) on the palate with a soft acidity and mellow dark fruit on a smooth, lasting finish. Still so vibrant if you tasted blind you’d likely guess it was six years old before the 40+ years old it is…

And there you have it! In retrospect the two things I remember the most are the nose of the ’92 and the youth of the ’68. Hopefully I can make it over there to experience these one more time before they disappear. As mentioned above, if you do the same let me know your thoughts…

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