Wine Wednesday: 2000 Bodegas Faustino I Gran Reserva


“With the economy, nobody’s drinking wine in Spain,” said Kerin Auth


While in Spain the folks there may be drinking far less wine than they use to in the past, here in America we are just now waking up to what many [myself included] an everyday luxury.

Thinking about this from the context of time, I mean hell, there are Bodegas in Spain which have been around longer than the United States has been a country. So think of this way; they've been drinking fab, beautiful wines for a very long, long time so perhaps they [collectively speaking] just want to give it a rest. Perhaps it’s like the lyrics from one of Led Zeppelin’s more well-known tunes, “I can't quit you, baby So I'm gonna put you down for a while.” Either way, their loss in appetite for great wines is our benefit here in the states.

I count myself one of the lucky ones, someone who has had the blinders removed from my eyes; something which I owe much of to my darling Mrs. Cuvee. Back before we were married, she slapped the back of my head, knocking my rose-colored glasses to the ground, figuratively saying; “look there’s a wonderful big wine-world out there take a look.”

Fast forward many years later, I've become someone who cannot simply settle for the tried and true commodity plonk posing as real wine. Sadly there's so much wine and so little time to fully explore them all. So with it being Wine Wednesday and I all I decided it would be a great time to profile one of the wines I brought home with me on my last trip to the UK, yes this one of the wines I purchased in the duty-free shop at Heathrow’s terminal five.

Part of my thinking regarding purchasing the bottle was because we had a direct flight, this way, I could bring it right onto the plane with no hassles what-so-ever and the second reason was that this wine was on SALE for just 10 pounds or USD 16. How I could resist such a good deal, well it was beyond me. Thus I carted two of these beauties home in my carry-on.

Now that said, I do love Spanish wines, so much so I’ve been lucky enough to make three trips there within a year’s time. So when I saw the 2000 Bodegas, Faustino, I Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa I knew I just had to have it. The bottle comes packed in the 'classic' wired body, with their signature clouded glass. While I didn’t think this wine would really be representative of the true Riojan style, one which typically beats the tar out of most wines sold here domestically, in that same price point. But unfortunately, one thing kept that from being true. I have hope for the second bottle.

The wine was bright, vibrant and still full colored in the glass, sporting a dark garnet core, with just a tinge of brick along the edges. Nosing this wine is where my “brett” meter went off the proverbial scale, I was like whoa, whoa what do we have here? It’s something which occurs almost exclusively in red wines, and typically it’s a barnyard type of funk which in small quantities, it's not so bad. If you’re not familiar with the term, I’ve included a link to a page which I think thoroughly explains the subject in a scientific method and a link to another page which takes a slightly easier to understand the approach, so here you go.
I could still taste all the wonderful flavors and nuances behind the “funk” but all in all, it was just too much to overcome. So sadly, I let the rest of it go the way of many other wines that I won’t review, go right down the drain [ugh, so unhappy]. But if the wine had not had that fault, it's my guess it would have been quite a nice bottle of wine, oh well. Until next folks, please remember to sit-back, relax, sip long and prosper cheers!
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