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Marques de Riscal Tempranillo 2003
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.
Rueda is located along the banks of the Duero River in Spain’s Castilla y León region, just a 2-hour drive north of Madrid. While winemaking in this area goes back to the 12th century, it was in the 1980s that the region was granted Denominación de Origen (D.O.) status. Today, more than 70 wineries call Rueda home. This national favorite is the top-selling white wine in Spain.
Notable facts Rueda’s main grape variety, Verdejo, gets it distinct complexity from stressful growing conditions and mineral-rich soil. Think of Verdejo as a fuller-bodied and more aromatic Sauvignon Blanc. A lush and smooth character with perfectly balanced acidity means Rueda wines pair well with seafood, fresh salads and spicy food, but are also great on their own.
Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.
In the Glass
Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.
Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.
The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.