We waltz over to Spain today to talk about one of the fantastic houses in Rioja that has been readily available throughout the United States. Marques de Caceres has made their name by providing beautiful value-driven Rioja wines since the 1990s. I was first enchanted by these Reserva and Gran Reserva wines more than fifteen years ago and was absolutely blown away with how the wines age. A few years back I visited the winery when I was in Spain which was a wonderful journey back into time. At the time they had no formal tasting room but it was a marvelous tour and a gorgeous valley setting.
Located in the Rioja Alta region, In 1970 Enrique Forner founded the winery which was an alliance between the the Cenicero region in the La Rioja Alta. This family had been focused on the wine trade for five generations, sourcing from some of the great growers and vineyards in the region in a Bordeaux like concept. Cristina Forner is the fourth generation owner of this wine family. They produce a great Grand Reserva, but their Reserva is also consistently good and commands a lower price tag. These wines have increasingly been available at Costco at a price that makes them one of the better wine buys in the retail market. Look to the 2014 Marques de Caceres ‘Reserva’ Rioja (WWB, 93) which is a tremendous value buy and shows incredible depth and complexity. Even better was the stunning 2011 Marques de Caceres ‘Gran Reserva’ Rioja (WWB, 94) which is a massive wine now and will age gracefully for decades. Learn more about these special Rioja wines at https://www.marquesdecaceres.com Here are the beautiful new wines by Marques de Caceres.
NV Marques de Caceres ‘Brut’ Cava- The ‘Brut’ Cava by Marques de Caceres is a new offering from this storied Rioja house. On the nose this takes on toasty brioche tones with shades of lemon zest and nutmeg that enter the fray aromatically. There is good freshness here with lovely sweetened apple and pear flavors that mingle with shades of candied lemon zest and ginger. Enjoy this in the short-term. Drink 2019-2022- 88
2018 Marques de Caceres ‘Excellens’ White Wine- This opens with bright pear and gooseberry aromas with cinnamon undertones. The palate has good freshness and a soft texture, delivering light orchard fruit flavors with shades of vanilla cram. Drink 2019-2023- 89
2018 Marques de Caceres ‘Deusa Nai’ Albarino- The ‘Deusa Nai’ Albarino opens with aromas of lemon zest and minerals with chalky terroir that mingle together on the nose. The freshness imparted is wonderful as delicate lemon rind and green apple flavors combine with minerals and a bright salinity. Drink 2019-2023- 89
2018 Marques de Caceres ‘Organic’ Rioja- Entirely made from organic grapes, this opens with aromas of ripe red currants with shades of Mandarin orange rind and exotic spices that all fill the nose. The palate has good structure and finesse with delicate red fruits that mingle with cinnamon infused orange rind. Drink 2019-2024- 89
2015 Marques de Caceres ‘Excellens Special Cuvee’ Rioja- The 2015 ‘Excellens Special Cuvee’ is an intriguing blend of 60% Garnacha with the remainder Tempranillo that were sourced from 25-30 year old vines. The nose is highly perfumed and energetic with deep dark fruits that mingle with shades of nutmeg and hints of chocolate that all mingle nicely in the glass. The palate delivers a good combination of verve and richness with kirsch, black tea and Asian spice flavors that mingle with the minerals and dusty terroir. Enjoy this beautiful, warm vintage wine, in the short-term. Drink 2019-2024- 90
2016 Marques de Caceres ‘Generation MC’ Rioja- Deeply colored once in the glass, the 2016 ‘Generation MC’ Rioja opens with intense dark cherry syrup and toasty oak that mingles with lighter orange rind tones on the nose. The palate is plush, delivering both good freshness and a soft texture that entices. Black tea, exotic spices and wild blackberry cobbler mingle with the lighter orange zest undertones on the palate. Thick and juicy, this would be a great pairing for a rich ribeye steak as this classy effort will cellar well for a decade. Drink 2019-2027- 90
2015 Marques de Caceres ‘Crianza’ Rioja- Very pretty aromatics follow here with bright red cherry, pomegranate seed and shades of blood orange zest that all come together aromatically. The palate is rich and plush, delivering a wonderful texture and savory element to the wine. The mouthfeel is really good here with ripe red plum, exotic spices and red cherry with orange zest all combining nicely on the palate. This is seriously good stuff for the price. Drink 2019-2025- 90
2014 Marques de Caceres ‘Reserva’ Rioja- The 2014 ‘Reserva’ by Marques de Caceres is another outstanding ‘Reserva’ bottling from this storied house in the La Rioja region. The wine was largely sourced from the Rioja Alta (85%) region with the remainder from the and Rioja Alavesa (15%), as the vineyards were cropped at roughly 2.6. tons an acre. This wine was aged for 20 months in French oak prior to bottling and is a beautiful blend of 85% Tempranillo with 10% Garnacha and 5% Graciano. On the nose this takes on deep black plum with shades of cinnamon infused red cherry and blood orange zest that all are nicely woven together in the glass. The soft texture here is gorgeous, as the wine beautifully coats the mid-palate. Ripe red fruits dance with minerals, orange zest and shades of clove and cardamon in this expressive ‘Reserva.’ A memorable effort, while this is enticing now, the wine has many years to come. Drink 2019-2035- 93
2011 Marques de Caceres ‘Gran Reserva’ Rioja- The 2011 ‘Gran Reserva’ Rioja by Marques de Caceres is up there with the best Gran Reservas I have sampled from this storied winery. This beautiful wine was sourced from 35-50 year old vineyards with some sections in the Rioja Alta region being 65-85 years old. The grapes for this wine were cropped at a mere 2.4 tons/acre, as the wine is largely sourced from higher elevation sites that are set on limestone and clay. The wine was then aged for 24 months in French oak and then aged for four years in the bottle prior to bottling as the final blending is largely Tempranillo (85%) with smaller parts Graciano and Garnacha. Needing more than an hour in the decanter to fully unwind, the wine slowly unveils black tea and black cherry cordial aromas that mingle with shades of sagebrush and leather, with citrus rind undertones that are all marvelously brought together in the glass. The palate is deep and seductive, showing a wonderful texture and tension that runs through the wine. Exotic spices and chocolate shavings mingle with suggestions of hoisin sauce, peat moss, wild blackberry cobbler and cran-orange flavors. Complex and highly gratifying at the eight year mark, this exotic ‘Gran Reserva’ will cellar well for decades — but is very hard to resist in its youth. Drink 2019-2040- 94