Tempranillo. It’s a varietal I’m growing increasingly fond of. Since moving to AZ I’ve sampled Tempranillo from the Sonoita wine trail and have been delightfully impressed – more on that later. This week however, for our Wine Wednesday feature, we go to the native land of Tempranillo – Spain! The 2011 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Crianza is from the Rioja region. Crianza on the label is an indication of how long the wine has been aged. Spanish wines can be labeled Crianza, Reserva and Grand Reserva, Crianza being the youngest of them in terms of aging. Crianza red wines must be aged for a minimum of two years with at least one year in Oak and one year in the bottle.
This wine is a blend of predominantly Tempranillo (85%) along with 10% Garnacha Tinta (Grenache) and 5% Graciano. On the nose - notes of raspberry, strawberry and licorice and after a few sips - on your palate (roof of the mouth) – hints of chocolate and subtle coffee. I found it to be a full bodied sturdy wine with ample fruit and acidity with moderate tannins - great for food pairing. We enjoyed it one night with a grilled ribeye and even more the next night with pizza. Even better, priced as a “weekday wine”, it took the doctored up frozen pizza to another level. It seemed to love the tomato sauce on the pizza. Try also with my New Orleans style “red” Jambalaya or my Homemade Marinara. Be sure to open the wine 30 minutes prior to serving for the best experience. Click the links below to print or save the recipes.