How Marqués de Cáceres captures Spain’s vibrant culture in every bottle

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Marqués de Cáceres, a five-generation family winery with deep roots in the world of Spanish wine, does more than make delicious fine wines: it helps transport you there, sip after sip. From cobbled streets bathed in sunshine and colorful clothing to plates of tapas and lively evenings with friends and family to the sounds of flamenco guitar and the aromas of jamón.

Behind this thriving wine estate is a solid leader. Cristina Forner, the fifth generation of her family to continue in the wine business, took over Marqués de Cáceres from her father in 2007 after studying oenology in Bordeaux. Today, Marqués de Cáceres produces over 40 different wines from Rioja and other Spanish Denominations of Origin and is available in over 120 countries.

When Forner talks about the winery, its roots in Spanish culture and history, and his family, his eyes sparkle. The energy, passion and worldliness she conveys are almost palpable. It’s no wonder that each bottle embodies the rich and colorful spirit of Spain, both old and new.

Forging a new path through Spain

Photo credit: Marqués de Cáceres

Although Marqués de Cáceres started in Rioja, the wine label didn’t stop there. Seven years after taking over the business, Cristina Forner led Marqués de Cáceres on its first venture outside Rioja, modernizing the brand with a second winery in Rueda where it produces bright, youthful white wines, especially from the varietal Verdejo. In 2019, Forner expanded into the Ribera del Duero, buying Finca La Capilla where superb examples of the Tempranillo grape are made. Other projects like a Cava produced in Penedès and an Albariño from Rias Baixas are just a few examples of Cristina’s passionate explorations into new wine regions. As president and CEO, she has certainly followed in her father’s footsteps, eschewing passing trends while never being afraid to chart her own course.

Since its creation in 1970, Marqués de Cáceres has also charted a unique course in the wine sector and, in turn, has contributed to redefining Spanish viticulture. Returning from France, where her family lived after being exiled during the Spanish Civil War, Cristina’s father, Enrique Forner, brought back the winemaking techniques he learned while living in Bordeaux. Back in his native country, he chose Rioja Alta, one of the three sub-regions of Rioja, for the winery.

Today, Rioja is undoubtedly Spain’s most famous wine region – and one of only two DOCa-designated wine regions in the country – but in the 1970s and 1980s it was virtually unknown outside Spain. ‘Spain. Many credit the Forner family and the Marquis of Cáceres with being the leaders of the Rioja renaissance and putting Spanish wine on the international wine map. Now Cristina Forner spotlights Rueda, Ribera del Duero and other top DOs from Spain.

Fresh, lively and gourmet wines

Marques de Caceres wine
Photo credit: Doug Young Photography

From the start, freshness, liveliness and purity of fruit were hallmarks of Marqués de Cáceres, which departed from the traditional, oaky Riojas of the 1970s and 1980s. La Rioja, home to the famous velvety and spicy Tempranillo grape from Spain, is known for its wines that tend to age, gaining even more complexity and body over time.

From inviting Rioja-aged Crianza to refreshing Rueda Verdejo, Cristina Forner is proud of Marqués de Cáceres’ vibrant and approachable line of wines.

Want to taste the typical grape varieties and wine regions of Spain without breaking the bank? These fun, seductive and elegant wines are your answer. Friendly and versatile, they can be accompanied by a variety of tasty dishes ranging from traditional tapas and paella to gazpacho and ceviche.

What makes Spanish wine sing? spanish food

To fully experience Marqués de Cáceres wines and the authentic taste of Spain’s colorful culture, it’s best paired with friends, family and, of course, Spanish cuisine and ingredients. Don’t know where to start? We’ll get you started with four of the label’s most notable wines and what to pair them with.

Crianza Rioja: medium-bodied, spicy and inviting

Marquess of Caceres
Crianza Rioja de Marqués de Cáceres (Photo credit: Doug Young Photography)

Crianza is a traditional, medium-bodied red made from Tempranillo grapes. Marqués de Cáceres’ Crianza Rioja is made from 85% Tempranillo mixed with an equal proportion of Graciano and Garnacha Tinta. The grapes are harvested by hand before being destemmed and fermented in stainless steel tanks. To be labeled Crianza, this wine must have aged for at least two years, including one year in barrels. The Crianza Rioja de Marqués de Cáceres is first aged for 12 months in small French and American oak barrels, then for at least 14 months in the bottle.

This medium-bodied, spicy and inviting wine has a lingering finish. Expect a nose brimming with ripe red berry fruit that lingers on the palate. This charming Crianza goes best with simple meals and light but tasty dishes. The softer tannins in this wine make it ideal for opening up and enjoying with aperitifs and entrees.

Suggested food and wine pairings: Hot tapas, chorizo, braised duck or Iberian ham.

Reserva Rioja: intense, velvety and full-bodied

Marquess of Caceres
Reserva Rioja de Marqués de Cáceres (Photo credit: Doug Young Photography)

Reserva Rioja is similar to Crianza in composition, but this vintage spends almost four years aging, first for a period of 22 months in barrel, followed by at least two years in bottle. The result is a wine with more depth and fuller body that is best served at the table with the main course of the meal.

The Reserva Rioja de Marqués de Cáceres grapes are harvested by hand from sunny vineyards, often from old vines that produce lower yields. Prolonged maceration with the skins gives this Reserva Rioja its dark red color and well-defined tannins that pair so well with lean red meats. The velvety, full-bodied backbone of Tempranillo (85%) is elegantly enhanced when blended with the lighter body and acidity of Garnacha Tinta (7.5%) and Graciano (7.5%).

The full body, depth and elegant tannic structure of Reserva Rioja make it ideal for spicy and savory main dishes. Think savory, lean grilled red meats and dishes that showcase spices like cinnamon, anise and green pepper.

Suggested food and wine pairings: beef sirloin, roast lamb loin or even hearty tuna steaks. Traditional Spanish paella is a great pairing as long as the paella contains red meats like lamb or beef.

Rosé: crisp, dry, light and succulent

Marquess of Caceres
Rioja Rosé from Marqués de Cáceres (Photo credit: Doug Young Photography)

Rioja Rosé from Marqués de Cáceres is refreshing and lively. The 80% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha blend is made from grapes grown on the highest slopes of Rioja Alta and features a bright, robust coral undertone.

As for the rosés, this one leans on the youthful, fresh and fruity side of the spectrum, while retaining a level of underlying richness and spiciness of the Tempranillo. Expect a floral and fruity nose with hints of red melon and summer berries, followed by a crisp, dry finish.

Suggested food and wine pairings: Andalusian gazpacho, grilled shellfish, arroz con pollo, baked salmon, tangy salads and light, slightly spicy pasta dishes.

Verdejo: fruity, light, crisp and lively

Marqués de Cáceres Verdejo (Photo credit: Doug Young Photography)

The Marqués de Cáceres Verdejo echoes the bright and vibrant side of Spanish culture and people. It’s a great pairing for lively get-togethers, especially when light tapas are on the menu. Made from 100% Verdejo grapes from Marqués de Cáceres vineyards in the Rueda region, this light and refreshing white shines when served chilled on a hot summer day or when paired with a barbecue with friends. .

Marqués de Cáceres avoids oxidation and meticulously maintains the properties of the Verdejo grape variety during harvest and vinification. Only harvested at night in cool temperatures, the grapes are further chilled before being pressed in an oxygen-free environment. Fermentation temperatures are controlled and the wine is not aged.

Herbal, fruity and floral notes end with a touch of citrus, making this Verdejo a perfect complement to grilled white meats, shellfish, fresh salads and young cheeses.

Suggested food and wine pairings: Manchego, fennel, grapefruit salad, grilled prawns, ceviche or pork belly.

As with Spanish culture, the heart and soul of Marqués de Cáceres shines brightest when experienced with friends and family, old and new. The next time you’re looking for the perfect wine to accompany a simple afternoon conversation or a well-planned feast, raise a glass of Marqués de Cáceres and invoke the spirit of Spain.

This article is sponsored by Marqués de Cáceres.

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