Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2009 Review - Hotel Bodega Marques de Riscal

Hotel and Bodega Marques de Riscal is both a category 6 Starwood hotel property and world-renown wine producer. The architectural design of the hotel was done by Frank Gehry.  Image courtesy Marques de Riscal.

 In this Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva review, we’ll cover a short background on the Vintner, as well as the wines’ tasting notes and ideal food pairings. Marques de Riscal produces highly refined red blends in the gorgeous and bold-flavor prone region of La Rioja Spain.

Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2009 review from Elciego (Rioja), Spain.

Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2009 Review, Food Pairings, Tasting Notes, HotelLocated just Northwest of noteworthy Logroño in La Rioja, Spain, the Marques de Riscal property is more than just a bodega (winery).  Not only does Marques de Riscal produce truly beautiful and elegant wines, it’s also a category 6 Starwood hotel property.  The hotel sits beside the oldest bodega in the entire Rioja region, making this Vintner extra special.

The hotel is designed by Frank Gehry, and the design, spa and location are some of the most famous in the world.  The spa alone was rated number one spa world-wide by Conde Naste Traveler in 2009.  We’ll go more into the hotel in a separate post, but for now, let’s talk about the Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2009.

Update: Buy the Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva online at for delivery to your door. New customers get a discount.

Also known as the Herederos del Marques de Riscal, the Reserva year after year is regarded as one of Marques de Riscal’s most noteworthy and iconic wines.  It’s fine tuned and made from a blend of Tempranillo, rich Mazuelo & Graciano grapes.  This reserva is aged for at least 2 years in American oak.  If you’re looking for a sample of what Rioja is at its core, look no further than Marques de Riscal.

Related: Learn about the famous wine growing region, DOCa Rioja

Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2009 Review, Tasting Notes, Food Pairings, Hotel

How nice would it be to wake up, look out your hotel window and watch the vines grow at Marques de Riscal in Elciego, Rioja, Spain?

 Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2009 Tasting Notes

In the glass, we get a sexy color palette of cassis, plum and raspberry.  The nose of this Reserva is soft and supple, loaded with red fruits and spice.  Overall, this a medium to full-bodied wine.

The opening palate pops with flavor.  Both red and black fruit are the most prominent, specifically big hints of juicy dragon fruit and red currant over a soft tannin structure with white Asian spice.

The oak aging employed to craft this specific Reserva brings out secondary notes of cacao, dry underbrush, thyme, cinnamon and licorice during the mid-palate.

With all of these flavor complexities, the wine stays loaded with fresh fruit through the mid-palate and the close. The finish is medium with persistent and soft tannins.  Lingering and ripe bits of fig, cranberry and black cherry are all evident throughout.

Related: Learn about what it takes for a wine to be labeled as a “Reserva” in DOCa, La Rioja

Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva Food Pairings

Moroccan spiced lamb meatballs are ideal to pair with the Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva. Image courtesy Kings Food Market (click for recipe).

 Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva Food Pairings

Since this particular wine is so complex, and also because of its spicy cacao and licorice notes towards the finish, we wanted to pair it with something that was equally complex and savory.  This is a wine to have fun with while cooking and eating.  It’s worth the longer trip to the grocery store and extra cooking time (but definitely isn’t necessary).

That said, how does Moroccan spiced lamb meatballs, basked in cumin, coriander tomato sauce sound?  My mouth is watering just writing about it.  Too complex?  Relax.  This wine will work equally as well with roasted turkey or hamburger topped with caramelized onions and spicy sweet mayo.

Honey-glazed chicken wings, general tso’s Chinese chicken or slow-roasted pork shoulder will pair just as nicely.  Lastly, consider pairing the Marques de Riscal with sweet and savory brisket, a side of potato salad and corn bread.  It will also pair well with a variety of sharp cheeses.

Our Score


  • Mark Balding

    Hi, I am just wondering about the collaring potential of this wine?

    • Mark Balding

      Sorry the ‘cellering’

      • Hey Mark,

        The 2009 Marques de Riscal Reserva is just beginning to reach its best drinking potential. Depending on how you plan to store it, I would expect best quality to last through 2017… thanks to the dominant tempranillo. If you can keep your cellar under 55 degrees fahrenheit consistently, you could potentially get more out of it. The secondary content of Graciano is ideal for aging, but it’s the smaller concentration of Carignan that gives this wine a bit of limited aging potential.

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