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Marqués de Riscal Tempranillo Blend Rioja Reserva 2003
Marqués de Riscal, the oldest Rioja house, has for many years been a leading and pioneering company in the wine producing sector. As far back as 1858, it became the first winery in Rioja to produce wines following the Bordeaux method, and in 1972 it was the first winery to promote the Rueda Designation of Origin, where it produced its famous Marqués de Riscal white wines. Marqués de Riscal sells its products in 80 countries and its wines enjoy the highest international distinctions as well as numerous awards and mentions in the media. Barón de Chirel was born as an experimental concept in 1986, using only the finest grapes from low yielding vines over 40 years of age. These trials produced such good results that the wine became a catalyst in the development of a whole new era for Rioja styles. Production is on a very limited scale and only in the best vintages, when the character of the vineyard, the soil and the variety are expressed as part of a single, harmonious whole. From the 1995 harvest onwards, Riscal make a manual selection of the grapes to be used in this great wine with the installation of sorting tables. Riscal was the first winery to introduce this system in Spain, a landmark in the production of fine wine. 'Marqués de Riscal Baron de Chirel Reserva' displays a very intense, black-cherry colour with hardly any signs of evolution. The initial impact on the nose is balsamic and highly complex, opening up to reveal hints of leather, roasted coffee and liqueur nuances. In the mouth it proves warm and smooth, with a very long finish full of sweet sensations thanks to the excellent ripeness of the tannins. This wine will pair well with ham, mature cheeses, red meat, poultry and game casseroles, such as partridge, rabbit, venison, wild boar or roebuck, even when served in spicy sauces.
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Light and spicy nose -- earthy with vibrant fruit flavors. The finish is pretty short and pretty tannic.
Pleasantly fruity and light, especially with red meat or dishes heavy in tomatoes (it went well with lasagna), but it's a bit heavy in the wrong ways, sticking to the tongue, and perhaps overly tannic, but I was drinking this 2003 early in 2008, so it may just not age well (outside of a cellar?). I seem to recall more recent vintages not being marred in these ways.
I found the nose to be rather reserved with hints burnt cherry over scents of cedar and tobacco that follow thru in the flavor. In fact I found the tannins & acidity to be very soft suggesting that this is ready to drink now, not for aging. With just hints of earthiness the wine is very graceful and mild; very pleasant drinking.
This is a very dry wine. Which isn't a bad thing in my opinion, but dry shouldn't be too light on flavor. It has a very slight fruit flavor, and light tannins in the beginning. has a quickly lingering berry, and cedar flavor. Very, very mild flavor. Almost tastes like the wine from back in my Catholic School days. Probably won't buy again.
External Reviews for Marqués de Riscal Tempranillo Blend Rioja Reserva
Wine Tasting NotesComplex aroma of spices with a predominance of liquorice, while the oak remains discreet. Intense color with a slight accumulation of yellow, masked by the powerful red hue of the grape. On the palate, the impression of acidity on the tip of the tongue is immediately reflected towards the back by a touch of persistent tannin. Meanwhile soft on the finish, with no fixation at the back of the mouth and a lasting sensation of toast developing underneath the tongue.