Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Crianza 2014
Grape Varietals: 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha & 5% Graciano
Growing Region: Rioja - Northern Spain
Owner / Director: Cristina Forner
It has been a few years now since I last drove west from Barcelona across the arid countryside of northern Spain. A most memorable of experiences, still vivid to this day meandering through the vineyards that cover the Rioja region. This Crianza red wine is such a consistent and versatile early drinking style that pairs well with a multitude of occasions. It undergoes a minimum of two years ageing in a mix of oak barrels and in bottle before release.
The dedicated and passionate winemaking team includes Fernando Costa, Emilio González and Manuel Iribarnegaray. The fruit for this wine comes from a selection of low cropping vineyard parcels which range in age from 15-25 years, with around 85% being sourced from Rioja Alta and the remaining 15% from Rioja Alavesa.
Once the fruit parcels are ready for harvest, all the grapes were hand-picked bunch by bunch, then quickly and carefully transported to the winery. Where the grapes were de-stemmed and crushed. The fermentation was controlled at varying temperatures starting off at 10°C and then reaching 28°C. Prolonged skin-contact maceration was for approximately 20 days and then malolactic fermentation occurred in stainless-steel tanks. Once this process had finished, the wines are transferred into oak barrels for ageing with racking every six months.
This wine then had 12 months ageing and palate development in a combination of French oak barrels (60%) and the remainder in American oak - in a mix of new, 2, 3 and 4-year-old barrels. The wine was then tasted and blended and after resting for a period of time, it was aged in bottle for a minimum of 1 year before it was released in October 2017.
As you pour this wine, your glass will be filled with a vivid red colour with luminous highlights. The nose is not timid with an expressive aroma of red fruits, spicy notes and a vanilla background from the time in aged oak. The medium-weight palate is wonderfully fruity driven, showcasing dark fruit flavours of ripe plums, black cherries and subtle herbs and spice notes all nicely wrapped in balanced fruit tannins and infused oak. The palate has personality and a pleasant fullness and finishes with delicious, long-lasting flavours.
This 2014 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Crianza has 13.5% Alc./vol. Minimal to no decanting required, serve in a generous red wine glass at 16-17°C.
A versatile fruit forward Rioja Crianza that over delivers on personality.
Drinking perfectly well this coming season, plus, will age well for another 2-3 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with tapas, lamb chops, kebabs, tagine, classic pizza & pasta, varied earthy vegetarian dishes, along with aged hard cheeses - enjoy.