Under $15, at 12.5% alcohol, and scoring a very nice 16+ points on the 20-point Dionysian scale, the 2002 Faustino VII Rioja was ready to savor at 17 years old.

I like my Rioja at eight to sixteen years, but the rich ones, wines filled with cherry fruit and spice and herbs  like the Faustino, can age longer.


Served with a cheese salad, chicken breast, and lots of veggies, the wine made the simple evening dinner a special event.

The color was still ruby, with a hint of brick on the edge. The aroma continued to open for an hour during the meal.  This bottle was perfect for me because I’m planning a small vertical of their best select wines in early Autumn.

The Tempranillo  grape has the weight a a light Burgundy Pinot Noir and is ideal for so many food styles.   In Vino Veritas.