1985 Marques de Caceres, Rioja Gran Reserva, Spain.
Showing it’s age in a beautiful way this mature Gran Reserva Rioja from Marques de Caceres has peaked with beautiful detail, silky texture and marvelous length, this is everything you’d ever want in a cellared wine, best of all it’s available cellar direct from the importer! Marques de Caceres uses extended barrel aging in French oak, which tends to enhance the Bordeaux like quality, but without taking away the classic Rioja feel and flavors, it’s crafted from about 85% Tempranillo and the rest made up of Graciano and Garnacha that is all from the prized Rioja Alta zone and vines that have the best exposures and most age. The 1985 is gorgeous and lush with a slight browning of the edges the only thing that gives it’s 32 years of age away while the palate is still vital and fresh showing bright cherries, plum, sweet fig and fading blackberry as well as a smooth creamy mouth feel along with vanilla, dusty spices, dried flowers, Dutch pipe tobacco, delicate notes of leather and cola bean. There’s not anything that stands out as wrong here, this wine is pure class in the glass and it’s length is sexy and stylish, it’s more modern and polished than Lopez de Heredia, which is the standard barer in fine Rioja, and one of the world’s best and most authentic wines, this Gran Reserva by Marques de Caceres is more like La Rioja Alta is style, but a bit lighter and finessed, with all three unique and elite at the top of this region’s Gran Reserva bottlings. Tasted along side the 1986 (91Pts) and 1987 (92Pts) versions the 1985 shined brighter with a profile and complexity the other two didn’t quite match, though both showed well and were solid efforts, it was a thrilling experience to do this mini vertical, thanks to Vineyard Brands Imports for showing these off and for offering them, these are going out in a set, 6pks of 2 each. This 1985 really stood out and gave a great performance, it has lots of substance and delivers an impressive layered impact and should be fantastic with matching cuisine.
($125 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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