Bottle variation, or magazine variation?

Got an email from K&L today listing the 2001 Faustino I Gran Reserva Rioja for $29.99, and throwing in a couple of TNs from mags.

The TNs seem to describe two completely different wines…WTF!

97 points Decanter: "Decanter Wine of the Year 2013! Restrained, mineral style with elegant tannins. Youthful and fresh, feminine and complex. Deliciously decadent, with extraordinary vitality in the palate and a long unique, finish. A jewel at this price. " (01/2014)

91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Rusty and mature looking, this is woodsy, dry and rooty on the nose, with whiffs of tree bark and tobacco running alongside cherry and berry notes. It’s mature, with flavors of stewed plum, herbs and spice that are straight from the textbook, while the finish is dry, earthy and showing core acidity. Drink now. " (07/2014)

it is a nice wine

Nice pick up!

Reminds me of an awkward social situation with two guys I know.

One is married to the other one’s ex. Talk about differences in the “reviews!”

The Enthusiast review reads like a wine that was shipped to the US in an unrefrigerated container. The Decanter review reads like a wine tasted at the estate.

I see a six month difference in the tasting dates.

Decanter should have added, “Drink now through June.”

I’ve had this recently and find the Decanter review more like my experience. 97 points is a stretch though. I’m thinking 92-93. This wine has many more years on it however. And a qpr to boot!


To answer the question, my guess would be magazine variation. Or more to the point, magazine ad revenue variation.

Having had it, it’s closer to the WE than the Decanter review IMO. Not sure what Decanter was tasting, but I think they went overboard.

Which is weird, right? I have always thought WE to be MUCH more prone to score inflation/exaggeration.

Either way, it looks like there’s substantial bottle variation here.