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Carlos Serres Gran Reserva 2008

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • JS92
  • WE90
13.5% ABV
  • WE93
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3.9 5 Ratings
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3.9 5 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This is a silky wine with harmonious balance of flavors with an elegant and refreshing finish.

Blend: 85% Tempanillo, 10% Graciano, 5% Mazuelo

Critical Acclaim

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JS 92
James Suckling
A high-quality and fresh nose here of ripe strawberries and plums plus perfumed, flower undertones. Full to medium body, firm tannins and a long, fruity and delicate finish.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Plum, berry and raisin aromas are fine but they don't go beyond the basics for Gran Reserva. This feels solid and dense, but again fairly regular for a mature Gran Reserva. Dry peppery flavors of cherry and cassis seem ready. Drink through 2019.
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Carlos Serres

Carlos Serres

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Carlos Serres, Rioja, Spain
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Carlos Serres was a pioneer in Rioja. In 1896 he established one of the first wineries in Haro, the heart of Rioja. He was an instrumental figure in promoting the early exports of Rioja wines. Today, the Bodega remains family-owned and operated and is one of only a few centenarian producers in Rioja. The estate is Southeast of Haro, just 800 yards from the winery and spreads out over nearly 150 acres of premium Rioja Alta vineyards with vines average 20+ years old. Bodegas Carlos Serres sets out to remain one of the most internationally-renowned and influential wineries in Spain.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. Wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and higher alcohol, which can add great body and richness to a blend.

Fresh and fruity Riojas labeled, Joven, (meaning young) see minimal aging before release, but more serious Rioja wines undergo multiple years in oak. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged around six months to one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two (plus three years in bottle), but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, adding complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, toast and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan) often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés.

White wines, typically balancing freshness with complexity, are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura. Some whites are blends of Viura with aromatic Malvasia, and then barrel fermented and aged to make a more ample, richer style of white.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins and a bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions and important throughout most of Spain. Depending on location, it takes on a few synonyms; in Penedès, it is known as Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Furthermore in Portugal, known as Tinta Roriz, it is a key component both in Port and the dry red wines of the Douro. The New World regions of California, Washington and Oregon have all had success with Tempranillo, producing a ripe, amicable and fruit-dominant style of red.

In the Glass

Tempranillo produces medium-weight reds with strawberry and black fruit characteristics and depending on yield, growing conditions and winemaking, can produce hints of spice, toast, leather, tobacco, herb or vanilla.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and good acidity make it extremely food friendly. Pair these with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a naming system is in place to indicate how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release. Rioja labeled Joven (a fresh and fruity style) spends a year or less in oak, whereas Gran Reserva (complex and age-worthy) must be matured for a minimum of two years in oak and three years in bottle before release. Requirements on Crianza and Reserva fall somewhere in between.

MSW30191754_2008 Item# 238484