Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Crianza, 2005


I love Spanish wines. I love them for the simple reason that they are perfect accompaniments to Spanish food: tapas, roast lamb, or paella. Especially lamb. Just thinking about sipping a glass of the 2005 Marqués de Cáceres Crianza with a huge hunk of roast lamb makes my mouth water.

Here’s why: stainless steel fermentation has preserved the wine’s naturally lively fruit aromas – it is made from hand-picked Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano grapes, while aging in French and American oak lends it a nice touch of vanilla to balance the fruit. Showing bright ruby in the glass, the wine has decent clarity. The nose is dominated by blackberries and dark cherries, with a hint of spice. A lush mouthfeel, with silky tannins balanced to more red berry fruit and cinnamon, leads to a succulent finish. I found that this bottle benefits from an hour of decanting. Good value; good dinner wine. $11.

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