Do you know the difference in Rioja among crianza, reserva, and gran reserva? At a recent tasting producer Marques de Caceres founded in 1970 by Enrique Forner certainly showed wines displaying these levels with both vineyard age and yields being important keys.
CRIANZA: Consistent vintage year (presently 2011) best seller in USA 85% tempranillo, 10% spicy garnacha, & 5% graciano aged 12 months in new and used oak French (60%) & American (40%) shows good freshness.
RESERVA: Better vintages (currently 2008) using same grape mix of older 30 year vines with lower yields (30hl/ha) aged 22 months French oak (1/3 new) displays more concentration & elegance.
GRAN RESERVA: Same grape mix but slightly more natural acidity of graciano (7%) best years (currently 2005) oldest vines and lowest yields aged 26 months in French oak (1/2 new) shows fruit depth with ripe prunes complexity.
Also have a structured GAUDIUM ( “joys of the senses ” in Latin – not the famous Spanish architect Gaudi) GRAN VINO in 2009 (10th one, first one 94) limited production of 94 new French oak barrels (28,200 bottles) 18-20 months where the malolactic fermentation takes place from 95% tempranillo & 5% graciano from 6 special parcels of very old vines with one 1.5 hectare plot pre-phylloxera over 120 years (average 70+) & low yields (18hl/ha) results in more tannins for cellar aging potential.
Appreciated as well the good value of both their fragrant white 100% verdejo (harvested at night in Rueda when temperatures are cooler to intensify their mineral attributes) first own vineyards vintage 2014 but from vines 30-40 years old and fresh flowers Rosado (Rose) from 96% tempranillo & 4% garnacha.
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