Marques de Vargas Seleccion Privada 2011
Deep black cherry colour with dark chocolaty undertones and violet rims. Rich fragrant nose of dark fruit, plums and mulberries enriched with aromas of violets. Extraordinarily complex, refined nose with developing hints of fresh hay, cedar and tobacco. Great density and velvety texture on the palate meet blackcurrants, ripe plums and ripe crushed dark berries. Well combined tannins from oak and fruit add structured, gamey, earthy notes to the wide spectrum of fruit flavours. Concentrated and sophisticated.-Winemaker's Notes
There is always a leafy and herbal touch in the nose of whatever vintage, and it's also present in the 2011 Selección Privada--more likely than not, this is from the 20% of 'Other grapes' (Cabernet), which complements the 70% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo and 5% Garnacha that make up the blend. I'm happy to report that I found this 2011 much cleaner and focused than previous vintages, with notes of tobacco, mint, blackberries and spices. Despite being aged in new Russian oak barrels, the oak feels better integrated and seems to have contributed to the polishing of the tannins. It has good acidity and ends with a clear Bordeaux accent. 9,640 bottles produced.-WA91
The company was founded in 1858 by the diplomat Camilo Hurtado de Amézega, the Marqués de Riscal. He had been living in Bordeaux and decided to bring French winemaking techniques back to his estate in Elciego. His wines became so popular that wire was stretched over the bottles to combat forgery, a feature that remains on many Rioja wines today.