I have a long history with Marques de Riscal. I enjoy the wines and appreciate them for what they are. This one is nearly black in the glass. The nose is huge- lots of black berries, blue fruits and a wallop of charcoaled oak. Violets and spice round it out. On the palate it shows off black fruits, sassafras, vanilla and an oaky component. Delicious but a touch of bitterness on the midpalate detracts. Violets and blueberry really take over on the finish alongside medium tannins. The bitterness is the only detractor that unbalances this otherwise delicious wine. 89 points and 4 stars for this $15 effort which is solidly produced and made from Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo. Salut….
I have a history with this wine. It was introduced to me by friends, one of whose father was Chairman of the Board way back in the day. I have drunk many vintages over the past 20 years and look forward to each bottle. Quality can be a little inconsistent over the years but generally speaking this is a very good staple for the cellar. This particular vintage is dark and brooding in the glass It offers up notes of lush blackberry with lashings of black cherry pie and vanilla. On the palate I get some raisin, blackberry, tar and almond. Very Tempranillo-like. The tannins are quite polished and unobtrusive. They join the party midpalate and carry through to the medium length finish. The flavors are mostly primal right now but I sense that development is forthcoming and this wine will evolve nicely. The predominance of that earthy tar component really excites me as this is my favorite Tempranillo trait. This wine will drink well till 2025 at the least and begs for roasted meats, a hearty game stew or some heavy duty cheese. I’m going 90 points, and for $16 this is a 4 star effort. Salut….
I have an affinity to this winery, having drunk many vintages over the years. I also happen to have friends who have vintages dating back to 1968 in their cellar. His father used to be on the Board, hence the connection. Anyway….. I always think of them and my visit to Spain when I see the unmistakable bottle with it’s wire cage. Always well priced at around $15, it is consistent and decent. Here we go.
Bright opaque purple color with a classic earthy Tempranillo nose laced with some oak.
Iodine, black cherry and blackberry hints come through after a bit of air. On the palate, slightly less fruit, more secondary flavors of tar, black tea, black berry and some Asian plum. A slightly hollow mid palate has me concerned but the wine has an acidic crunch at the end that I kinda liked. Totally melded tannins that still have some good grip. 88 points is my guess. Very enjoyable, with points off for the hollowness. 2014-2017 and 3 stars. Salut….
An old favorite to which I have a connection to via some Spanish friends. I have been drinking this wine for many years. The nose is textbook Reserva from Rioja, the Tempranillo jumping out at you. On the first taste I was taken back a bit by the thinness of the wine, but soon settled into enjoying the brooding dark berry meets tar flavors. I know it sounds weird, tar, but it really is a descriptor that works with aged, oaked Rioja. Good oak integration and some earthiness round out the profile.
In the glass , the wine actually looks a little thinner than normal, the ‘legs’ giving tale to the 14% dosage I am about to feel. There’s is a slight off-balance to this thing, I can only hope it will sort itself out after a few years in cellar. The tannins are impressive, if somewhat muted right now. The nagging alcohol is what is throwing me, if that were sorted out this thing would cruise. I might be a bit harsh here, but I think the thinness and off-balance cost this wine big in points and I have to go with 86. For $20 a bottle, it slips into 3 star territory for me. It’s a shame really, this wine has a good pedigree and I have never had a disappointing bottle. Perhaps I shall re-taste it in the near future.