2018 Valenciso Cemento Rioja

Rioja, Spain

A juicy Rioja Tempranillo fermented in concrete - fresh and fulfilling.




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.

About Valenciso

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.

Carmen Enciso and Luis Valentín
Carmen Enciso and Luis Valentín
Rioja, Spain
Additional Info

From the Importer

Where all of Valenciso's wines see the inside of some concrete during their élevage, this new bottling, as the name suggests, has been fermented [and raised entirely] in concrete vats. It's 100% Tempranillo drawn from a group of old-vine vineyards nestled in the limestone-rich hillsides of Haro and Ollauri in Rioja's Western Sonsierra. All up, the wine was aged for 30 months before bottling, resulting in a wonderfully bright and complex wine with wild blackberry and plum characters, and hints of black pepper in an elegant and rounded palate with fine tannins.

Blend : Tempranillo (100%)
ABV : 14%
Closure : Cork
Drink Until : 2024
Bottle Size : 750ml

Valenciso Tempranillo vines
Valenciso Tempranillo vines
Rioja, Spain
Expert Reviews

Critic Reviews

The Wine Advocate

"One of the particularities from Valenciso is that they started using concrete (cemento) for the fermentation if their wines right from the beginning in 1998. Now they release a 2018 Cemento, the first vintage of a young, juicy and fruit-driven wine with soft extraction, keeping the fruit and liveliness through aging the wine exclusively in concrete for two and a half years. It's juicy and ripe without excess at 14% alcohol, and it has a medium to full body, a gentle texture with fine tannins and very good freshness." -  Luis Gutierrez (Robert Parker Wine Advocate)


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