About Marques de Caceres
Marques de Caceres is one of the best known Rioja producers, but unknown to many, it does not have the centuries of heritage of many of its competitors, having been established as late as 1968. In this relatively short period of time, it has become an important force in the Rioja industry, bringing a revolutionary way of thinking, state of the art technology, and a freshness of approach to a very traditional region.
Today the brand sells over 2.8 million cases worldwide, at least double that of Faustino, and considerably more than UK brand leader Campo Viejo, and in fact represents one tenth of all Rioja exports.
In a market almost completely dominated by New World brands, Spanish brands have struggled, with only Campo Viejo and Torres making it into the ‘top 50 wine brands in the UK’ list, but in terms of recognition, and loyalty, Marques de Caceres is right up there, with its modern approach, and high quality image.
After a few years in the doldrums, when quality dipped, and the world seemed to forget it, in favour of the New World, sales of Spanish wines are now riding high again, showing the strongest growth of any category in the last year, and taking 7th place on the ratings table, after South Africa. Spanish wines are gaining increasing recognition, for their style, appeal, reliability, and also because of the fact that they offer great value, across the range of styles. Spain is certainly the country that is keeping the UK wine market showing some growth in the last year.
What's The Background To Marques De Caceres?
Marques de Caceres was founded by Enrique Forner in 1968. The Forner family had taken exile in France in the 1930s after Franco’s victory in the Spanish civil war; when Forner and his family returned to Spain, he brought with him the learnings from the wine regions of France, especially Bordeaux. When selecting the location of his winery, he even enlisted the help of top Bordeaux oenologist and winemaker Emile Peynaud.
Forner had already worked with Peynaud during his time in Bordeaux, where he had purchased and restored two Chateaux, Ch Camensac and Ch Trintaudon. With Peynaud’s help, he selected land in the Rioja Alta region, and started a slow revolution in terms of vinegrowing and winemaking, which at the time, caused considerable concern and reaction from the more traditional producers.
Whilst it is common practice today, he was the first to start producing wines aged for shorter periods of time, in younger oak, creating fresher, more vibrant, modern styles of Rioja. This led to both domestic and international acclaim and recognition. Forner’s daughter, Christina, is responsible for creating the export success of the brand.
The Marques de Caceres winery was built in Cenicero, 20km from the capital of the Rioja region, Logrono. A feat of modern technology at the time of building, it has kept ahead of the times, and today houses over 40,000 oak barrels, with a storage capacity of over 10 million bottles.
Rioja is steeped in centuries of tradition, from the grape varieties grown, to the tightly controlled regions and indeed methods of production and ageing. Respecting the rules, yet bringing modern thinking to the process, Forner built an impressive, chateau style winery, installing shiny stainless steel tanks, and new oak barrels, as well as a revolutionary way of thinking, at a time when Rioja was still a haven of sleepy tradition.
Forner never purchased many vineyards, but with great forward thinking, forged great relationships with a key group of growers, with whom the company worked very closely. He gave the growers shares in the business in return for grapes, but grapes grown under his own conditions. His winemakers had great control over the viticultural process of these growers, advising on techniques to secure the optimum quality, and assessing the growers regularly to ensure that their exacting standards for the production of highest quality grapes were maintained.
His ethos was ‘more fruit, more elegance, less oak’, allowing the fruit to express itself rather than being dominated by oak. Today, this is common practice, but at the time, there was much debate; the general consensus was that the wines were indeed very good, but they weren’t Rioja!
Enrique Forner died in 2011, but his legacy is in safe hands, with his daughter Christina at the helm of the company, with the Bordeaux connection still intact, since international winemaking superstar Michel Rolland is consultant to the winery.
What Styles Of Wine Does Marques De Caceres Make?
As its history shows, Marques de Caceres has always produced very modern, fruit-driven, vibrant wines across the range of both reds and whites. As well as traditional oaked red Rioja, the old style of white Rioja was also heavily oaked. Caceres were the first winery to dispense with oak altogether in some of their young white wines.
Marques de Caceres blanco joven – 100% Viura grape, and vibrantly citrussy in style. This fragrant, juicy, zippy dry white goes nowhere near oak, and is bursting with a lively, zesty green apple and peach flavour.
Marques de Caceres Blanco Barrica – with a nod to tradition, this elegant white once again concentrates on fresh, vibrant fruit flavours, with just a touch of oak to add depth, and complexity.
Marques de Caceres Satinela – a medium dry style, again predominantly Viura, but a softer, sweeter style, still with fruity freshness.
Marques de Caceres Rosado – lively, rose pink dry Rose, full of juicy, red berry fruit flavours.
Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza – a velvety, very fruity Rioja, aged according to traditional Rioja regulations, but with modern technology to retain freshness and fruit – bright and elegant.
Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva – a more traditional style of Rioja, with silky, strawberry fruit and vanilla oak, but with the fruit still very much to the fore.
Marques de Caceres Rioja Gran Reserva – yet again, the magic of the Caceres winemaking techniques shine through, with the oak balancing rather than dominating the elegant, ripe berry flavours of this mature wine.
Marques de Caceres also produce some distinctive, limited release wines, including the young and vibrant MC, and the powerful Gaudium.
What Do These Wines Go With?
Spanish wines have always been designed to go with food, and Faustino, with all its traditions and heritage, stay true to this.
Marques de Caceres Rioja - all the reds in the range are great food wines, but balance the intensity of the wine, with the intensity of the food. So Caceres Crianza, with its simple, fruity style, would be great with good, meaty burgers, meatballs, chorizo spiced rice dishes, and cheesy pasta.
The Marques de Caceres Reserva makes for an elegant match with roast lamb, lamb chops, game, and seared steak, whilst the Gran Reserva demands more illustrious fare, such as braised beef, slow roasted lamb with garlic and rosemary, mature cheeses, and rich game stews.
Marques de Caceres blanco range – the fresh, crisp whites are perfect with grilled fish, pan-fried salmon, seared prawns, squid, and richly flavoured fish stew. Also great with little chicken kebabs with a red pepper sauce.
The Marques de Caceres Blanco Barrica, would be perfect with salmon steaks, chicken in creamy sauce, and richer fish and poultry dishes.
Marques de Caceres Rosado – a great food wine, serve chilled with all manner of spicy tapas, chorizo, prawns, squid, tortilla and also non – Spanish food, such as seared tuna, and chilli spiced white meat dishes.