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.
El Coto de Rioja is based in the town of Oyon in the Rioja section of Spain. The winery produces four red wines, one rose, and one white wine.
The 2001 Coto Real Reserva was a red blend, consisting of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 10% Garnacha Tinta (Grenache). The wine was aged in oak barrels for 20 months, and then for an additional 24 months in the bottle. Its labeled ABV was 13.5%.
Previously, I had tasted the 2004 Coto de Imaz Reserva and the 2001 Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva. Having positive results with those samples, I was looking forward to the Coto Real.
It delivered in line with expectations.
Bodegas Muga is based in the town of Haro in the Rijoa region of Spain. The winery produces red, white and rose wines using a number of different varietals.
The 2004 Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva Seleccion Especial was a red blend, made with 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha (Grenache), 7% Mazuelo (Carignan), and 3% Graciano. The wine was aged for 28 months in oak casks, and an additional 12 months in the bottle. It carried a label listed ABV of 14%.
Having tried a number of their wines over the years, I was looking forward to this tasting.
The wine delivered within expectations.
Remirez de Ganuza produces red and white wines in the town of Samaniego, located in the Rioja region of Spain.
The 2004 Rioja I sampled was 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano. The wine was aged for 24 months in oak casks (80% French and 20% American). The label reported ABV was 14%.
Despite being a fan of many Riojas, I was very unimpressed with this bottle.
Sierra Cantabria is one of several wineries owned by the Eguren family in the Rioja district of Spain.
This specific winery produces only red wines. All of their wines, with the exception of Reserva Unica, are 100% Tempranillo.
I have had many of the Sierra Cantabria line over the years, the Crianza, the Reserva, the Gran Reserva, but I had never seen the Reserva Unica.
I came across it at Wine Sellers, a local beverage store. Intrigued by the fact I had never seen, nor sampled, this product from the brand, I decided to give it a try.
I was glad I did.