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April 15, 2010

Marques de Caceres GR 2001, Rioja

Marqués de Cáceres Grand Reserva 2001
Rioja DOC, Cenicero, Rioja Alta, Spain

ca 20 € (airport CPH)

85% Tempranillo, 15% Graciano and Garnacha Tinta

I am pouring this wine into the glass and giving it a moment to settle. It is of intense darkred color, the edges a little brighter, tawnier.

Then I am slowly and carefully taking a noseful of it: Yes! Definitely Rioja!* I close my eyes and see that I have moved over to a wonderful wine cellar under the earth, all those aromas getting to me first. Only to be followed by intensive dark berries and the (expected) vanillatone, combined with little spicyness.

I open my eyes and take the first sipp: Yes! Again! Rioja. The dark berries have teamed up with wonderfully ripen cherries and some subtile spicyness with little herbal touch. It is filling my mouth, accompanied by a nice acidity, that is refreshing, and together with the still friendly oak tannins giving this wine its structure. The alcohol is in perfect balance with all of this, and the warm finish is really giving me time to enjoy this wine.

I smile, I am happy. And so is actually my husband too. So: this wine was worth every cent. I would and will buy it again. (And will keep the receipt to remember its price.)

We served it with a classical Spaghetti Bolognese, which we all needed after two weeks of Spanish food. The combination worked really fine, so would any steak or beef-, lamb stew!

This wine was aged on French barrels for 2,5 years and maturing for 4 more years in the bottle, before it was sold. Gran Reserva, the highest quality of a Rioja wine is done in excellent or outstanding vintages only. 40.000 oak barrels and 10 mill bottles are to be found at the winery. They were among the first to use French oak instead of the tradionally American oak (giving more vanillin and coconut aromas). The family Forner came 50 years ago from the Bordeaux area, where they already owned two Grand Cru Châteaux. Read more here.

* About definitely Rioja: this is what _I_ associate with Rioja.

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