Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Marques de Caceres Rosé, Rioja 2011

This is a radical departure from the wine I sold for more than a decade...and I dig it.
Marques de Caceres is a leading Rioja producer for good reason.  Their reds have always been the calling card and the inexpensive white has really come on the last ten years or so but the the rosé has always lacked something.  That's not quite right, it actually had something extra I did not care for...sweetness.  Not sugary but not dry enough for my palate.  A simple, throw-away style but inexpensive enough to get away with it.
The 2011 has a much deeper color, I wondered if they perhaps blended red and white wine to get that rich a hue but the website says the same thing it has always said.  They macerate with the skins for color and then keep it in stainless steel.  The blend varies a little from year to year, this one is 85% tempranillo and 15% garnacha (grenache), but not enough to explain the excitement this bottling created in my mouth.
Strawberry leaps from the glass with some floral notes, perhaps violet, and it is intense.  Some alcohol made my nostrils flare but it was not out of line.  The palate is big and rich, for rosé, and while strawberry continues here, darker fruits appear as well.  The other fruit is not quite blackberry but deeper than raspberry.  There is tannin here, it made my mouth water, which would be expected with the deeper color.  Acidity still tingles the roof of the mouth but the action is all on the tongue, the rich weight of this wine perches there happily.
Although it stops short about two-thirds of the way through the mouth, the flavor washes forward again so I didn't feel shorted at all.  It is front loaded in the mouth, often meaning simplicity and disappointment for me.  While it does lack some complexity, for $7 or $8 it makes a great porch or pool-side sipper and can stand up to a wide variety of food.  Excellent value!  Imported by Vineyard Brands. Find it at Martin Wine Cellar and some Rouse's locations.

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