Super Sip: Faustino I Gran Reserva, 1996

If you're willing to spend $30, you will get a fine Spanish wine

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By David Hammond

At a Rioja tasting last week, the undoubted best sip of the night was the  Faustino I Gran Reserva, 1996.

Rioja is a region in Spain, and the wines from that region – mostly reds – are also called Rioja. These wines are most frequently associated with the country, and there are some excellent values out there.

Deep and caramel-like, the  Faustino I Gran Reserva, 1996, has some fruit (cherries are a usual descriptor) and enough acid to perk up the tongue.

More importantly, the wine has the indescribable flavor of the earth that I don’t find in all riojas (especially the younger ones or crianzas).  Made of 85% Tempranillo (the key grape in the wines of this region), and aged in oak, this is the flagship of the Faustino line.

Available at Binny’s for around $30, it’s a wine to drink now or hold: a super sip.

If you have a favorite wine in any price range, tell us about it.

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