About the Wine
The Valenciso Cemento Rioja, as the name suggests, was made entirely in concrete. It's an amazingly light and fruity wine, full of blackberry, plum and spice, not huge and oaky like many older styles of Rioja. The lack of oak treatment at any stage of the winemaking process results in fine tannins and a round, balanced palate. An excellent example of a newer style of wine to emerge from Spain.
Wines are often fermented in concrete when the winemaker doesn't want to see any influence of oak, usually to highlight the fruit above everything else. The porous nature of concrete means oxygen can interact with the juice, helping to improve mouthfeel. Concrete "eggs" are now a very common site at many wineries.
Luis Valentín and Carmen Enciso are setting a new benchmark for modern Rioja from their beautiful winery in Ollauri, in the north of the Rioja Alta region. They began their boutique operation 1998 with a focus on small production, old vines farmed organically and a more gentle winemaking philosophy, with a focus on elevage in concrete rather than oak. Their results over a short period of time have been outstanding and seen them become lauded as one of the premier small-scale producers of the region. The name Valenciso is a portmanteau of their names.