90 Points by Wine Spectator
Wine Spectator – “One of the most recognizable bottles of Rioja is the 2004 Faustino I Gran Reserva, mostly Tempranillo with 9% Graciano 9% and 5% Mazuelo (Cariñena), aged for 26 months in oak barrels. The nose is as classical as it gets, with tertiary aromas of bonfire, paprika, cured meat, leather and spices, highly recognizable as Rioja, clean and balanced, a big improvement over the 2001 I tasted last time. The palate is medium-bodied and polished with a fine texture, good acidity and persistence. This is subtle, with well-integrated oak. It is a textbook Rioja Gran Reserva. Half a million bottles of this wine are produced, and I’m sure there is more than one lot, but it’s remarkable that they can make that quantity of a Gran Reserva.”
Vintage 2001 was declared Outstanding Wine in 2013, by Decanter
Decanter average score: 19.25pts/20 (97/100pts)
Individual judges scores: Pedro Ballesteros MW 20 Ben Henshaw 18.5
Annette Scarfe MW 19
Faustino (founded 1860) with its iconic frosted bottles and portrait labels is one of Riojas most easily recognised brands. It’s a family business based in Oyon in Rioja Alavesa, and the largest private holder of vineyards in Rioja, spread across the region. The style of the RIoja is as classic as the packaging: look for the sweet, vanilla notes of American oak, plenty of bright cherry fruit, and a fine, delicate palate. For those interested in tasting great old Riojas, Faustino is one company that still releases older vintages going as far back as 1970. Among the other wineries it owns is Portia in Ribera del Duero.
Pedro Ballesteros MW Deliciously decadent, with extraordinary vitality on the palate and a long, unique finish. A jewel at this price.
Ben Henshaw Complex nose, quite grippy but fresh and moreish. A touch dry, but amazing fruit. Classy, complex and long.
Annette Scarfe MW A more restrained, mineral style with elegant tannins. Youthful, feminine and complex with a long length. A classic Rioja that is still fresh after 12 years, with more to come.
Read more at http://www.decanter.com/reviews/rioja/faustino-faustino-i-rioja-gran-reserva-spain-2001/#Z4SGKy8qerhptIM6.99