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Marques de Vargas Rioja Reserva 2012

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • WS91
0% ABV
  • WE90
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Richly colored, deep black cherry hue with violet rims. Excellent combination of red berries like wild strawberries and raspberries with undertones of sweet liquorice. The palate is full-bodied and luscious with velvety texture. Great, well-balanced acidity together with silky tannins trigger warm velvety mouth feel. Exceptionally elegant wine, full of freshness and great complexity.

Blend: 85% Tempranillo, 10% Manzuelo, 5% Garnacha

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Black cherry, licorice, leafy and cocoa flavors mingle in this elegant, harmonious red, which has polish and density, with well-integrated tannins and fresh acidity. Drink now through 2024.
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Marques de Vargas

Marques de Vargas

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Marques de Vargas, Rioja, Spain
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Saying Marques de Vargas in the wine world is naming four generations dedicated to the production and sales of excellent Rioja wines. The title of the Marqués de Vargas is held by a family closely linked to this important viticultural region in Spain. It was in 1840 when Felipe de Mata, the eighth Marques de Vargas, planted the first vines in the outskirts of Logrono. Especially memorable was Hilario de la Mata, the father of the current Marqués de Vargas, who for years presided over one of the most emblematic wineries in Rioja. In 1989, Pelayo de la Mata, the current Marqués de Vargas, realized his father’s dream by building a winery on the Estate Hacienda Pradolagar in Logroño.

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.

WWH145393_2012 Item# 302597