Elegant and Seamless Rioja: 2017 Marques de Tomares Rioja Crianza

Elegant and Seamless Rioja: 2017 Marques de Tomares Rioja Crianza

This will go down as one of my favorite Rioja values of all time. Here's a wine that is both fresh and savory, ripe and refined, and complex yet crushable. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about this one.

From the first sniff and first sip, this one straight up knocked my socks off. Tasting like a hypothetical "Remelluri meets Muga," this Crianza definitely drinks like a Reserva. It's got the fresh and ripe fruit of a more modern styled Rioja combined with the spicy, earthy, savory notes of a more traditional version. I can't recommend this one highly enough.

Marques de Tomares Rioja Crianza

2017 Marques de Tomares Rioja Crianza

"Elegant, seamless, and complex, this is one of the finest Rioja values I've ever tasted." - Josh Spurling - 94 points

ORDER NOW in our online store. We will apply deal pricing once we receive your order. 

When Chris Thornbury of Rise Over Run Wines said he had Rioja that reminded him of Remelluri, I was immediately intrigued. When he told me it would hit my shelf for less than $25, I chuckled and said I would need to taste that one first. Guess what? He was 100% right! This one totally reminded me of Remelluri with its balance of fruit, spice, and mineral. 

These are perfect expressions of traditional Rioja that is still fresh, fruit forward, and beautifully balanced. Marques de Tomares was founded by Don Roman Montana in 1910, and today, it is run by his grandchildren. The family farms their 100+ acres in an organic fashion (non-certified), and all of their vineyards are located in the prized Rioja Alta zone.  

The estate's 2017 Crianza is a blend of 90% Tempranillo, 7% Mazuelo, and 3% Viura, all from 75+ year old vines. Harvesting and sorting are done by hand, fermentations are done with native yeasts, and the wine is aged for 12 months in oak and an additional 14 months in bottle prior to release. The wine is bottled with no fining and no filtration. When I use the term "traditional," it is this minimal interventionist approach I am referring to.

So what's it taste like? Sublime comes to mind! The wine pours a pretty deep color and nose is immediately enchanting. Dark cherry, baked plum, cigar tobacco, leather, violet, and spice box lead the charge. The bliss continues on the palate, which perfectly balances ripe fruit with tannin and acidity. In a nutshell, this one over-delivers with enough classic charm and Old World depth to satisfy traditional Rioja drinkers while also delivering plenty of ripeness and body to please modern Rioja drinkers.

Sound good? Trust me, it is, and it's one of those wines that would work well with a wide variety of dishes. It's also great just by itself, but I do recommend a good 30-45 minute decant and aeration. You will be rewarded!

ORDER NOW in our online store. We will apply deal pricing once we receive your order. 

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville