Marqués de Cáceres is not only one of the largest producers in Rioja but it also stands among the leading Spanish wineries in the world. The brand is so ubiquitous that it seems it has always been present in the market. Even though its name suggests the glorious days of Marques de Riscal and Murrieta, the winery was founded in 1970 by Enrique Forner. Born in Valencia, he emigrated to France where he succeeded in the wine trade, even owning two châteaux in Bordeaux.
His rentrée in Spain was triumphant. He settled in Cenicero (Rioja Alta) in 1970, a legendary vintage, under the auspices of the great Émile Peynaud, who designed a revolutionary Tempranillo, with great fruit expression, aged in French oak and made following techniques such as grape selection, cold fermentation and leaving wines to rest in the bottle. It was the starting point in the creation of one of the most solid and successful wineries in the Denomination. The initial philosophy remains unaltered: no vineyards under ownership and long-term contracts with local vine growers are still the norm in a winery which controls 1,200 hectares, vinifies around 15 million kilos of grapes each year and stores 30,000 barrels. The internationalisation of the brand (50% is exported to over 120 countries) is closely linked to the moment Cristina Forner, the current president, joined the family business in the eighties. Throughout the nineties, the firm sought the advice of influential winemakers such as Michel Rolland, who helped launch Gaudium. Nowadays, Marqués de Cáceres is in the news for its investment in Rueda, where it has purchased 125 hectares of vineyards in the vicinity of La Seca and Serrada.
The plan is to add a Verdejo wine to the current and rather broad white range which includes Marqués de Cáceres jóven (€5), the barrel-fermented Antea (€7), the sweet Satinela (€5) and the Albariño Deusa Nai (€6).
The classic red range includes Marqués de Cáceres Crianza (€9), Reserva (€13) and Gran Reserva (€21). They are all Tempranillo-based with 15% Graciano and Mazuelo. Gaudium (€43) is the premium label and is a blend of Tempranillo and barely 5% Graciano. It spends two years in bottle before reaching the market. The interesting and more affordable MC (€28) is made exclusively from Tempranillo and is usually balanced and fresh. Winery tours are available from Tuesday to Saturday and include three different tasting options.