Marques de Caceres Rioja Gran Reserva 2011
Blend: 85% Tempranillo, 8% Garnacha Tinta, and 7% Graciano.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2011 Gran Reserva was never going to scale the same heights as the 2010 (it’s a vintage thing), but it comes very close. Showing little sign of the heat of the growing season, this combines Tempranillo with Garnacha and Graciano to stylish effect. The oak just needs time to melt into the wine. 2019-25. Alcohol: 14%
Smooth, steady aromas of dark fruits, turned earth and oak grain are exactly what you want from a high-quality Rioja Gran Reserva. On the palate, this is pure and tight, with clarity and structure. Flavors of dried plum, cherry, raspberry, spice and cocoa are expansive and finish with elegance. Drink through 2040. Vineyard Brands.
This has a rich array of ripe dark plums, as well as spiced-earth and meaty nuances. The palate is round and full, reflecting the warm vintage. Drink or hold.
Founded in 1970, with its first release in 1975, Marqués de Cáceres the Rioja bodega was established by Henri Forner, whose family has been active in the wine business for generations. The winery is named for a Spanish peer who was also an investor in the winery and a friend of Henri Forner.
The Forner family fled Spain during the Spanish Civil War and settled in France. In the early 1960s, Henri Forner and his brother Elysée bought and restored two abandoned chateaux, Chateau Camensac and Chateau Larose-Trintaudon. These chateaux are now recognized as two of the finest properties in Bordeaux. When Henri decided to establish a bodega in his homeland, he selected what he considered the finest viticultural area in Spain: Cenicero in Rioja Alta.
Emile Peynaud, former professor and chief wine researcher at the University of Bordeaux, was initial consultant to the winery. Today, Michel Rolland is wine consultant at Marqués de Cáceres and Henri and his daughter, Christine, are at the helm. The vinification methods at Bodegas Marqués de Cáceres are similar to those used in Bordeaux. Thus, French winemaking techniques and expertise have been applied to native Spanish grapes to produce one of the finest modern Riojas.
Hailed as the star red variety in Spain’s most celebrated wine region, Tempranillo from Rioja, or simply labeled, “Rioja,” produces elegant wines with complex notes of red and black fruit, crushed rock, leather, toast and tobacco, whose best examples are fully capable of decades of improvement in the cellar.
Rioja wines are typically a blend of fruit from its three sub-regions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental, although specific sub-region (zonas), village (municipios) and vineyard (viñedo singular) wines can now be labeled. Rioja Alta and Alavesa, at the highest elevations, are considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier, Rioja Oriental, produce wines with deep color, great body and richness.