One of the first “modern” bodegas in La Rioja, established in 1858, Marqués de Riscal highlights different flavours of the D.O.Ca (Keevil et al., 2009/2010, p. 302; “Marqués de,” n.d.). For illustration, the company has a special dispensation to use Cabernet Sauvignon together with the grape varieties of the classic Rioja blend (“Rioja Red Blend,” n.d.). It is the case of Barón de Chirel brand (Keevil et al., 2009/2010, p. 309).
Marqués de Riscal Reserva, rather than showing the depth of a Rioja blend, emphasizes the capabilities of quality Tempranillo grapes combined with highly favourable soils. The product’s technical sheet describes how the grapes are sourced:
Marqués de Riscal Reserva wines are basically made from grapes from Tempranillo vines planted before 1970’s, grown in the best clay-limestone soils of the Rioja Alavesa. (“Marqués de Riscal Reserva”, n.d.)
The Graciano and Mazuelo varieties, whose presence in the blend does not exceed 10%, provide crispness and a lively colour. (“Marqués de Riscal Reserva”, n.d.)
Deep ruby colour. The pronounced red fruit aromas of strawberry, raspberry, red cherry meet black pepper notes. Quite complex for Reserva, the wine shows meaty and leather nuances and a touch of chocolate. On the palate, the red fruit flavours are complemented by tobacco, hints of earth and vanilla. Structurally, it is characterized by a medium body, quite sustained acidity and rather low tannins. The finish is long.
The concentrated Tempranillo is obtained at high altitudes in Alavesa subregion.
- Marqués de Riscal
- DOCa Rioja
- 90% Tempranillo, 7% Graciano, 3% Mazuelo
- La Rioja
(“Marqués de Riscal Reserva”, n.d.)
- Keevil, S., Adams, G., Austin, C., Bodains, R., Besonen, J., & Buckley, K., … Williams, D. (2010). Vinurile lumii [The Wines of the World]. București: Litera Internațional (Original work published 2009).
- Marqués de Riscal, The History. Retrieved 31 December 2017, from
- Rioja Red Blend Wine Information. Retrieved 31 December 2017, from
- Marqués de Riscal Reserva.. Retrieved 31 December 2017, from
Categories: Tasting Notes