A one-minute history of Marqués de Cáceres RiojaThe bodega was founded in 1970. Its founder, Enrique Forner, was influenced by legendary Bordeaux figure Professor Emile Peynaud - so much so that he took a decidedly modern approach to producing Rioja wine. His focus then was less on oak ageing and more on fruit expression. The result was fewer oak flavours, making Marqués de Cáceres one of the most fruit-forward of all Rioja wines. With the history lesson out of the way, let’s open some bottles and see what the Marqués de Cáceres wine range tastes like.
1. Tasting Marqués de Cáceres Rioja CrianzaIf you remember your Rioja ageing rules, you’ll recall that Crianza wines must be aged for at least two years before they’re released, and at least one of those years needs to be in oak. Rioja Crianza usually errs more on the side of fruit than oak, and the wines are usually quite easy-drinking. The 2012 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Crianza is a blend of 85% Tempranillo with the balance made up of Grenache and Graciano. It’s got a bright and youthful ruby colour and a nose of fresh red fruits and spice. In the mouth, it is rich and smooth with lots of generous fruit.
Alcohol content: 13% Serve between 12ºC and 16ºC Optimal consumption period: 2012-2018 The wine does not need to be decanted Best served in Tempranillo Glass Pairing: Aged Cheese, Game Animals, Grilled Red Meats, Legume, Roasts, Stews.Buy Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Crianza 2012 here.
2. Tasting Marqués de Cáceres Rioja ReservaThe next step up from Crianza ageing is Rioja Reserva, and for many Rioja producers the Reserva is the flagship wine. Tasting the 2011 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Reserva, it’s easy to see why. This has the same blend as the 2012 Crianza, though the key difference is in the grape selection and ageing. The grapes for the 2011 Reserva came from older vines, giving greater concentration and ultimately quality. The wine itself was aged for longer, seeing 20 months in French oak barrels before a healthy 18 months of bottle ageing. The resulting wine has a darker colour than the Crianza, a deep red almost verging on black. Aromatically, there’s blackberry fruit and considerable spice and pepper. On the palate, there are pleasantly fresh fruit flavours, alongside supple tannins and an overall smooth mouthfeel.
Alcohol content: 14% Serve between 14ºC and 18ºC Optimal consumption period: 2011-2022 We recommend to decant the wine 1 hour before serving Best served in Tempranillo Glass Pairing: Beef, Game Animals, Grilled Red Meats, Roasts, Stews.Buy Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Reserva 2011 here.
3. Tasting Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Gran ReservaGran Reserva Rioja sees the longest time in oak, and is a very distinctive style of wine. For some, the oak flavours of Rioja Gran Reserva are too much, with astringent tannins overtaking any and all fruit flavours. It’s true that some wines of this style can be over the top, but remember the Marqués de Cáceres approach is decidedly more modern than many other producers, so that’s not a problem! The 2009 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Gran Reserva has a very similar blend to the two younger wines, though the key difference is in the ageing. This wine was aged for as much as 28 months in French oak before a whopping four years of further bottle ageing. This real deal Rioja Gran Reserva, make no mistake. It’s all about the tasting though. Its colour is a dark cherry, maintain a surprisingly youthful look for its age. The nose strikes a delicate balance between fruit flavours and oak influences of spice and vanilla. It’s complex, and you’ll want to come back to it again and again. In the mouth, it is plush, elegant and powerful. There are woody notes for sure, but they’re in balance and never overpowering.
Alcohol content: 14% Serve between 14ºC and 18ºC Optimal consumption period: 2009-2030 We recommend to decant the wine 1 hour before serving Best served in Tempranillo Glass Pairing: Beef, Game Birds.Buy Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Gran Reserva 2009.