Marqués de Riscal was founded in 1858. Based in the town of Elciego, in the Rioja region of Spain, it is one of the oldest Rioja wineries. In addition to the red wines produced out of Rioja, the winery has expanded to the Rueda area where they produce white wines.
The 2001 Marqués de Riscal Gran Reserva was a red blend consisting of Tempranillo, Graciano, and Mazuelo (Carignan). The wine was aged in American oak for 32 months and spent an additional 3 years aging in the bottle prior to release (The great thing about Spanish wines is that the wineries age the wine for you.). The label listed ABV was 14%.
The first wines I ever drank came from Rioja. Over the years, I had tried Marqués de Riscal Reserva, but I had never tasted the Gran Reserva until I attended the Wine Spectator Grand Tour in New York City in May of 2012. The Gran Reserva was delicious that night. Unfortunately, the evening was not conducive to note taking.
I was pleasantly surprised when I found the Gran Reserva in stock at a local beverage store.