Here’s a sextet of Spanish wines from Marques de Caceres, the bodega founded in 1970 that has since become a powerhouse in the nation’s wine industry — particularly thanks to its Rioja wines. All widely available and affordable, here’s a fresh look at the winery’s current releases as of early 2019.
NV Marques de Caceres Cava Brut – A crisp and apple-heavy nonvintage cava, this is a relatively uncomplicated wine with minimal fuss. Moderate acidity and carbonation both serve to give the wine a fresh quality, with hints of lime and just a touch of spice on the back end. B+ / $15
2018 Marques de Caceres Rueda Verdejo DO – This deceptively simple, screwcap white is surprisingly worthy of serious attention. Boldly lemony and brightly acidic, it drinks like a pinot grigio with more moderated sweetness and gentler floral notes. Crisp on the finish with some grassy notes, this wine drinks all too easily, making it perfect for summertime — and for pairing with any type of vibrantly-flavored meal. Excellent value. A- / $13
2018 Marques de Caceres Rioja Rose – A rarely-seen rose from Rioja, made of 96% tempranillo and 4% grenache. Quite dry, it’s heavy on the notes of dried flowers and berries, with a moderately creamy strawberry note building from there. Hints of lavender on the finish. It pairs surprisingly well with chocolate. B / $13
2015 Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza DOC – Light on its feet, slightly floral, and a bit sweet with notes of brown sugar and caramel sauce. Spicy notes of cinnamon and nutmeg layer atop a gentle core of blackberry and blueberry, with some tea leaf evident on the slightly grippy finish. A fine, approachable, everyday table wine — and a good example of what Crianza should be. B+ / $20
2014 Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva DOC – A smooth operator, Caceres’ Reserva bottling is silky and heavy on the fruit — one could see this as a solid sangria base — with hints of pepper and floral notes laced throughout. Light vanilla notes — and some tannin — give the finish depth. B+ / $31
2012 Marques de Caceres Rioja Gran Reserva DOC – Less austere and grandiose than you’d think, this Gran Reserva (which spends a minimum of 2 years in oak and 3 years in bottle before release) is still quite light on its feet, offering a plum and cherry consistency that is well-informed by oak, but never overwhelmed by it. Notes of white pepper, some tobacco, and licorice on the finish all add a certain gravitas to the experience, though. B+ / $40