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Marques de Riscal Tempranillo 1999

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Winemaker Notes

    Marqués de Riscal, pioneer in the production of top quality wines in Rioja and Rueda, sets out on a new venture, making a highly expressive red wine outside the Rioja D.O. This wine has been created in a concept of freedom of elaboration from a careful selection of the best properties and vines of the Tempranillo variety from the gravelly soils of alluvial vineyards in the Duero region. This variety produces very aromatic wines full of body and colour, well structured, fresh and intense. During the harvest, decided by the technical department at Riscal, only the fully ripe tempranillo grapes, which have had good sunlight exposure are accepted, collected in boxes of 18 kgs. maximum capacity so as to avoid any crushing of the fruit. A venture upon which Riscal embarks with the same sense of quality as in its Rueda and Rioja wines, for which it can look to the prestigious advice of Paul Pontallier, technical director at Château Margaux and Guy Guimberteau, of the Bordeaux Institute of Oenology, two eminent figures in French winemaking.

    The 1999 vintage was characterised by an unusually dry autumn and winter with numerous frosts in both seasons. As a result, budbreak was later than normal in recent years. There were no spring frosts to reduce the harvest and heavy rain in the months of April, May and June. Completely dry summer with a little rainfall in September at harvest time.

    Made using grapes from the best properties and vines of the Tempranillo variety from the gravelly soils of alluvial vineyards in the Duero region, this wine displays a violet red colour with no yellowish hues. Fruity aromas with hints of roses and bitter almond. The fragrance of roses emerges in the glass when the wine is still and the aromas of almond are revealed on agitation. Soft on the palate with a slight touch of acidity on the initial impression which passes to a final fixation of tannin on the edges of the tongue. Fermentation controlled at 24ºC. The wine is aged for 5 months in American oak barrels.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Marques de Riscal

    Marques de Riscal

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    Marques de Riscal, Rioja, Spain
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    Wines of the Herederos de Marqués de Riscal has always been a leading and pioneering company in the wine producing sector. In 1858, it became the first winery in the Rioja to produce wines following the Bordeaux method and in 1972, it was the first winery to promote the Rueda Designation of Origin, where it produced its famous Marqués de Riscal white wines.

    Marqués de Riscal sells its products in over 70 countries and its wines have enjoyed the highest international distinctions as well as numerous awards and mentions in the media.

    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.

    WLD750196_1999 Item# 54097