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Marqués de Riscal Reserva wines are basically made from grapes from tempranillo vines planted before de 70’s, grown in the best clay-limestone soils of the Rioja Alavesa. This variety withstands oak- and bottle ageing well thanks to its good balance of acidity and fine tannin. The Graciano and Mazuelo varieties, whose presence in the blend does not exceed 10%, provide crispness and a lively colour. Fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature of 26ºC and the maceration time is never more than 12 days.
Riscal reservas spend around two years in American Oak barrels, producing a wine which corresponds to the classic Rioja style: fresh, fine, elegant and very suitable for laying down for many years. Before release for sale it spends a minimum of one year rounding off in the bottle; time enough to show how much complexity tempranillo is able to achieve.
Known as an excellent vintage, this is the result of a temperate winter which led into a spring with one day of frost. They are always pernicious for the vineyard when this one has sprouted, but by chance it was isolated between rains that, in summer, became limited but strategic for the quality. We measured 25L in August and Elciego, offered 215 days useful for the vegetation. At the end, a wonder of quality and quantity occurred at the winery. That’s how is nature, when it wants, gives very much and very well.
A compact aroma at first, slightly closed, which opened slowly in the glass, going over, if we do not drink it before, an arch that passes for the pleasant path of the balsam, the memory of hazelnuts and ultimately the vanilla.This wine recalls all the solemnity of the author of “Death and Transfiguration”. That of a few grapes that, as fruits, succumb to reach perpetuity in the bottle.
So much color and shades are not frequent, and if in the term of Rioja a brilliant wine is qualified as escaping the glass, this one deserves complement as “breaking the glass”. From the iodine edge we go to maroon and sink in a red that when arriving to the bulb of the glass blocks the way to any light. A prodigy of color and of brushstrokes of the nature superposed, offering dense sensation of an epoch when the painting critics were suffering to classify and to frame slightly dense linens and without limits in a zeal, maybe impossible, of managing to transmit the lyricism of the paintbrushes… thing reachable with the color of wine if we accept it as nature and interpret it as consumer experience. The fullness in mouth might be cut by effort. Posterior smoothness, freshness extra-mouth, warm “body” and delicate tannin in the edge of the tongue. For then, in the harvest month, we were receiving T.S. Eliot the Nobel Prize on Literature and when in his Becket he says of the peasant who bends down in the homestead and returns of the color of the land, we think that, from the color of the Rioja Alavesa vineyards in winter, are born the towers of his churches.
And Camilo Jose Cela published “Trip to the Moorland “ that would be useful to peripheral youth in order to to take again the dusty ways that were marking the spirit of the men of 98.
Raising time in barrel: 48 months