Marques de Legarda Rioja Gran Reserva 2001

So with twice the time, and half the price of the last blog post, not to mention the progressing seasons, I am back, with another fantastic wine!
Official Notice! Blogging has now moved, originally on the porch of my house right off of N Vancouver, it is now in the back yard of my NEW house off of N Interstate!
With the weather inevitably getting colder, and days getting shorter, I am drifting away from the crisp, clean, refreshing whites, and the thin skinned delicate reds of the summer, and starting to lean towards something with a bit more body, texture, and thickness.

Today’s bottle for the evening is the Marques de Legarda 2001 Rioja Gran Reserva, it is a red wine from the Tempranillo grape, coming from Rioja Spain. There are many different designations and rules as far as a label from Rioja, most of which have to do with how long the wine has been aged in oak barrels, the least amount of time in oak is labeled Crianza, it is usually big, juicy, fruit forward, and made to drink while young, after that is Reserva, Reserva wines have been in aged for at least 36 months prior to release, with at least 12 month in oak, these wines will have a longer life in the cellar, and will be much more baked, caramelized and developed as a wine, finally at the end of the scale is Gran Reserva, these wines have been aged in barrel for at least 24 months followed by at least 36 months in bottle before they are released. Once they have undergone that level of time, they will taste a lot more like caramel fruit leather than the original Crianza.

I chose this bottle because the leathery and bakes profile should complement a cool fall evening, and at a price of $24, it should be well worth it.

On first appearance, this wine looks old, it is pretty much see-through, and has the tone of old bricks, on the nose, it smells very pretty, maybe a bit more fresh than I had expected. Caramel apple, fruit leather, some dried flowers, and almost a spicy dark chocolate. It’s really nice… On the palate, it is very dry, it tastes like dried blood orange in a chocolate bar, like rosemary dusted apple chips, also like some of the best fruit leather I have had. The tannins are silky and unobtrusive, and the acid is very present, but just so much to keep the wine in balance. The finish is long, and slightly seductive. In the end, there is defiantly alcohol present, but just enough to warm me up on the cool fall evening. I would call this a very nice Pacific Northwest sunset date pairing.

As far as food goes, this wine would go very well will lamb, something not too gamey, but sweet. A very rich chicken dish, or a very herbal and ketchup forward meatloaf.

I have found that people either really like, or really don’t like aged Rioja, so, I would just buy this for yourself, or for a close friend and just find out!

Thanks for reading,
expect more soon,
tell your friends,
drink more wine,

Tyler!

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