Why should Reserva wines get all the love? The Marques de Caceres Crianza Rioja.
85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha Tinta and 5% Graciano from 15-25 year old vines in Rioja (85% Rioja Alta and 15% Rioja Alavesa), Spain. The wine is aged for 12 months in French (60%) and American (40%) oak, split equally between new, 2, 3 and 4 year old barrels and another year in bottle before release. It is also vegan friendly.
Marques de Caceres Crianza is made from Tempranillo grapes selected by hand. Vinified with care and aged in French and American oak barrels for 12 months. Further aging in bottle for several months highlights its red berry fruit, structure and complexity. Silky smooth and elegant in the mouth. Serve at 16C/60.8F.
We love a good wine from Rioja but we often find ourselves overlooking the Crianza wines. (See here for an explanation of the different levels of wines in Rioja.) However, don't write these off just because they are a level down from Reserva wines! With a minimum of one year in oak Crianza wines often easily out-perform most of the competition at their price point.
The 2015 Marques de Caceres Crianza Rioja begins with a very nice aroma of plum, raspberry and cranberry plus lots of lovely spice notes and a little leather. Taking a sip reveals lots of juicy fruit and really well integrated spice in this delicious, medium-bodied wine. It's soft and smooth in the mouth and features similar flavors to the nose along with licorice and a little balsamic. Tobacco and other oaky spice notes lead into the long, dry, grippy finish.
Ready to buy? Check your local retailers.