26 Jan Robust Rioja – Marqués de Cáceres 2016 Reserva
While it’s one of the most popular wines
from one of the world’s top wine-producing countries,
Rioja requires some explanation.
For one thing, Rioja isn’t a wine per se.
It is the region in northern Spain where it is produced.
In most cases, red Rioja is made from the Tempranillo grape.
There are three classifications of Rioja…
Crianza, Reserva & Gran Reserva…
terms that refer to the amount of time the wine has been aged.
Crianza is aged the least…6-12 months in oak…
Reserva is aged more…at least 12 months, usually more…
while Gran Reserva is aged the most…18-24 months in oak
and four years in bottle.
These details make a difference.
When it comes to Rioja, more aging typically translates
to a smoother, more refined wine.
It’s Wine Thursday!
Every week, we feature a good wine
that sells at a reasonable price
and is easy to find in-store or online.
This week, we’re checking out a Rioja that is beyond the
typical entry-level version This one is a cut above.
Where it’s from
There are some 560 wineries in the Rioja region in northern Spain.
Marqués de Cáceres is one of the larger Rioja operations,
producing a substantial portfolio of solid, value-oriented reds and whites.
What it is
You’ve probably seen Marqués de Cáceres’ Crianza Rioja.
It’s a staple at most U.S. supermarkets.
Their Reserva is not found on as many retail shelves.
That’s a shame because for just a few dollars more,
the Reserva is a much better bottle.
Aged for at least 15 months in new French oak barrels,
the Reserva is dense, rich and full-bodied.
Red and black fruits, such as blackberry and black cherry,
lead the way along with strong dried-herb and baking spice flavors.
Since this has over 6 years of age, the rough edges
are rounding into shape and it’s ready to drink now
but stored properly, it could easily last another 3-4 years.
If you can’t wait that long, this Reserva would be a great pairing today
with any substantial meat dish such as beef, lamb or veal.
Where to buy it
Albertsons lists this Rioja for $15.99.
It’s on the shelf at Total Wine for $19.99.
Fred Meyer’s price is $20.99.
You can order it from Empire Wine for $16.97
Binny’s has it for $16.99
The price at Lisa’s Liquor Barn is $17.99
Station Plaza Wine has it for $18.88
At Stirling Fine Wines and Napa Cabs, it’s $19.99
and Wine.com lists it for $20.99