Where Tradition Meets Innovation – Marqués de Terán

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The wines of Marqués de Terán invite you on so many levels to discover more of what you love about wine. Whether you are just learning or would call yourself a true “connoisseur” and wine lover you will be impressed, amazed and delighted when you explore Marqués de Terán Winery.

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Located in one of the most beautiful and famous regions of spanish wine La Rioja is known and enjoyed around the world. A setting that will intrigue you from the moment you set eyes on it. You may have a hard time deciding what is your favorite thing about Marqués de Terán. Is it the location, the tradition mixed with innovation, the award winning architectural design, the renewable geothermic energy process, the R & D “Healthy Wines” Project, or the WINE! For me it began with tasting their wonderful variety of rich red “Vino Tinto” – 6 delicious and uniquely different wines.

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What better way to take in the pleasant aroma, bouquet or nose of a wine than to hold of a beautiful crystal wine glass and touch – then taste and SAVOR a very special “Cata de Vinos” and that is exactly what we did at this wine tasting lunch in A Coruña at De Market Vinoteca Restaurant. A wonderful setting to meet wine aficionados and partake of some new Vinos one sip at a time.

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Marqués de Terán mixes tradition with innovation. The design of the winery was made with the processing of the grape in mind and has received special recognition with the Premio Technal Architecture Award. Their innovative approach and green carbon footprint label has helped to provide visibility and open international markets like Germany, China and US. In their home country where the wine drinking tradition is imbedded as part of every day culture and is a way of life the market is a little more complicated. In Spain, “They’ll tell you they like the idea but if an organic wine costs even 50 cents more they’ll go for the cheaper wine always.” says Manuel Garcia, General Manager.

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This unique winery, opened in 2005 in the village of Ollauri, is built right into the mountain and captures your attention as it rests peacefully nestled into the landscape. Just like the vines working in union with the land to grow these rich and flavorful grapes the winery sets integrated into the land in a most interesting combination of technological advancements utilizing criomaceration, geothermal, as well as, age old traditions.

An impressive 500,000 kilos in annual production using 1,500 barrels, most of which are American Oak and yields annual wine sales of 295,000 bottles. Marqués de Terán with their international relationships exports 19.8% of their wine. You can enjoy one of their tastings where they educate by highlighting the differentiating factors of their wines from a commercial or marketing perspective and less of a “enology” point of view.

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Marqués de Terán Varietals:

Tempranillo: 95%/95% of their grapes are Tempranillo
Mazuelo: 3%/3% are Mazuelo
Garanacha: 2%/2% are Garanacha

Marqués de Terán uses a special grape grading scale of 1 – 10 for all the grapes they buy from local farmers, measuring the percentage of alcohol in each one, PH levels, potassium levels, color and age. They have spent the past 4 years working with a local co-op of farmers who are concerned with preserving the quality of grapes available in Rioja. This is another unique feature to the winery which in modern times doesn’t happen very often.

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In addition to their concern for the environment, innovative technological advancements and growing techniques, they try to make sure that grape-growing families have some sort of social security by committing to buying the grapes when they are first presented instead of saying “lets wait and see til the end of the season”.

Following a visit, 6 years ago, to the California wine country they have been using cold fermentation techniques. In 2008, they were recognized for their use of geothermal energy and their innovative design for which they won a R&D award. Their special attention, care, and focus on the environment has helped their visibility, promotion, and sales in countries like China. This “green footprint seal” has been important in their international success.

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Marqués de Terán Cata de Vinos: 6 Wines

Vino 1) Ollamendi 2008 Crianza

2008 growing season was a year marked by lots of rain, snow in the winter, followed by a dry spring. With a price point of 5,5 euros the selling point and the most important factor is its low price and smooth drinkability. Marqués de Terán took care to listen to their customers who wanted a wine that wouldn’t break the bank.

This is the wine preferred by bars, cafes and wine shops in Asturias, Pais Vasco, Galicia and Madrid. Aged 14 months in American oak barrel. This is an easy to drink wine, not too acidic with notes of vanilla, pepper, and berries – smooth and doesn’t linger too long in the mouth. I enjoyed this smooth table wine with its nice nose, a mix a fruit scents, and feel it would go well with a wide variety of foods.

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A spanish “tosta” of jamon, queso (cheese), with traditional “pan tomaca” tomato, olive oil and garlic topping is a long time favorite when enjoying wine. This special “tapa” was a perfect beginning for tasting both the Ollamendi 2008 and the Crianza 2009. A beautiful presentation with a special accent of balsamic vinegar reduction glaze added just the right flair and was a perfect color match for the smooth Vino Tinto.

Vino 2) Crianza 2009

2009 presented some challenges to the wine making process first it was a long, difficult winter with lots of snow, rain and coupled with a dry summer followed by more rain during the harvest. The weather made its effects visibly known as finally, the grapes swelled up to the size of peaches and had a large percentage of pulp.

This wine, made with grapes that received a 7 – 8 grade is a mix of tempranillo 95%, mazuelo 5%, is aged 14 months in American oak barrels and has a price point of 10 – 11 euros. Known for its deep rich purple color it has less pigmentation on the top layer. You will notice when it first hits the nose that you will enjoy scents of spices, pepper, and berries. This wine is more complex than the Ollamendi and is still easy to drink, but lasts a bit longer in the mouth. A wine everyone would like with medium bouquet, beautiful rich color, and nice smooth finish.

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Wine and gastronomy pairing is a fun and exciting way to discover new favorite combinations and this time was no exception with a special seafood dish of grilled rape or monkfish and langostino/gamba or shrimp, which in America people typically think to drink a white wine, was a perfect flavor match with the Reserva 2008.

Vino 3) Reserva 2008

2008 was a good year for grape growing. This is a wine that has already done all the resting it needs to do and is ready for you to drink. Better quality grapes with a higher alcohol content are aged 18 months in American oak barrels and has a bit more concentrated color in the top layer with a price point of 14 euros. Your tastebuds will enjoy a flavor that is more of a preserve taste, like figs. Most wine drinkers 25-35 prefer wines like Ollamendi, a bit more fruity, but this reserva appeals to a lot of younger people. I enjoyed its dark rich color, its bouquet was full and inviting – perfect for “breaking the rules” of white wine served with seafood and provided a wonderful new combination of flavors.

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Red wine and steak combined with fresh grilled vegetables and special crispy haystack french fries gives you an array of flavors to enjoy from savory, salty, slightly sweet, and crunchy again another perfect pairing.

Vino 4) Selección Especial 2011

The Selección Especial is the STAR wine of the bodega and is full of color with its rich shades of deep purple-blue. The most important wine, their signature product is made with the best grapes available graded 9 – 10 that are then aged 6 months in new French oak barrels with a price point of 19 euros. As the French say, it has “terroir”, which means it tastes like the land around the winery. This most award winning wine of 2011 is not cold pressed or filtered and has a spicy bouquet and vibrant warm color.

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Vino 5) Versum 2010

The Versum wine began in 2008, and was the official wine of the advertising campaign that went along with the geothermal energy push. Today all 6 of their wines are made with geothermal energy, but this was the first. This is a young wine, but it actually spent 10-12 months aged in barrels, so it technically speaking could be a crianza. Made with grapes graded 8 – 9 this is the wine with the most concentrated color and is aged in French oak barrels in their second or third year of use and has a price point of 16 euros. Versum is a more acidic wine and is better for tasting. I like when my wine says HELLO and Versum greets you with its rich color, long lasting legs, and full body flavor. No wonder there are so many analogies to wine, women and song that all go together perfectly especially when they are put together or made perfectly which Versum certainly is. This is a wine you could drink and drink and drink…

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Vino 6) Reserva Edición Limitada 2007

This is a wine you will want to drink slowly. A wine to be savored and appreciated for its velvety smooth taste that will leave your mouth waiting for another delicious sip. You will be mesmerized by its milky, sweet, honeyed undertones. Instead of drinking a gin and tonic at the end of the meal you this is a perfect option for you to enjoy another glass. Dark rich flavorful – A color that matches if full flavor and is a taste you will savor and remember. Just like tall, dark and handsome are stereotypes of spanish men in this case that would also apply to this delicious and most memorable Reserva Edición Limitada 2007. So good I enjoyed every smooth sip to the very last drop!

Thank you to Marqués de Terán – Manuel Garcia and Guía Peñín – Mar Mirón and Victoria Lara for including me in a very special wine event. An experience that has inspired a desire for another Gastro Camino adventure to La Rioja for a personal visit and a little wine crush time during the harvest season. Looking forward to seeing you again in your beautiful region of La Rioja! Bo Camiño!!!

 

For more information please visit: http://www.marquesdeteran.com or https://www.facebook.com/bodegasmarquesdeteran

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For more information regarding Guía Peñín please visit: http://www.guiapenin.comhttps://www.facebook.com/guiapenin

For more information regarding De Market Vinoteca Restaurant please visit: https://www.facebook.com/vinotecademarket

A very special thank you to friend and fellow blogger Stacy Lutsch – Rain Boots & Wine Glasses – One Copa At A Time for joining me and capturing the background, history, and wonderful wine facts of Marqués de Terán http://rainbootsandwineglasses.wordpress.com

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