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Wine: Marques de Caceres, Crianza

Winery:  Marques de Caceres

Varietal(s): 85% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha Tinta

Vintage: 2009

Region:  Rioja Alta
Costco price: $10.99
Reviewed by: Redneck Wine Guy


Spain has done it again.  I doubted, I waivered, I even hoped for an opposite outcome so I could break my attraction.  But yet again, another really great wine experience out of the next door neighbor to France, of which has produced some of the best wines of all time.  The bodegas (wineries) of Spain are continuing a steady march into positioning themselves as some of the best in the business, both cellar-worthy and everyday drinkers fit for any gathering or meal.


Wine and food culture go hand-in-hand.  To enjoy both Spanish wine and culture, I cooked up a batch of traditional paella.  When making paella give yourself plenty of time and plenty of wine – it’s a labor of love, but well worth it.  Paella is Spain through-and-through – chicken, sausage, and seafood blend together with the rice to create a well-balanced symphony of flavor. If prepared traditionally, meaning cooked outside over a fire pit (I did mine in a Big Green Egg), the smoky notes of the wood charcoal are what give the paella that unbeatable slap-in-the-face flavor that cannot be recreated on the stove and were a spot-on pairing with the wine.


The wine is a full-bodied dark, ruby red typically of Tempranillo based wines.  The nose is ripe dark fruits with a slight hint of tobacco and leather.  The mouth-feel is very well rounded, coating every part of the palate.  On the palate the dark fruits abound, along with slight spice, smoke, and noticeable yet not overbearing tannins.  This wine is a “Crianza”, meaning that it was aged in oak barrels for a year.  The oak aging lends to the smoky, toasted notes which again created a beautiful pairing with the food. The finish is long and not easily forgotten.


My parting thoughts – take time to enjoy a home-cooked meal that takes more than 15 minutes to make.  Uncork a great bottle of wine, make something that will be memorable, and enjoy with family and friends.  That is what life is all about!  Salud!


Redneck Wine Guy rating: 90

Costco item number: 10862

Read More about 2009 Marques de Caceres Crianza Rioja

  This wine is an absolutely steal for only $11.99 at Costco.  I’m going back today to try to buy more.  I enjoyed this bottle with two other people who also agreed that it drank like it cost $30-$40.  If you are a regular reader of this site, this is why you buy wine at Costco, right here.  Go get it.

Smells expensive on the nose, a little cinnamon and some spices.  I thought the wine appeared a bit younger than 2009 when I poured it, and when you get into it more you realize we are drinking it at a perfect time. 

The wine is medium in body with ripe fruit, mostly red fruit with a hint of plum; strawberry licorice, some leather aromas toward the end.  Tannins are juicy; a long multi-layered finish.  A superb wine that I still can’t believe was only $12.

This wine will go on our Silver Rated wine list as well as our Value Picks.  This is an incredible buy right now at Costco. Rating: 92 Points
Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA
Costco item number: 755334
*Silver Rated*
*Value Pick*

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  Costco always turns up the heat with their wine selection during the holidays.  I can’t remember the last time I saw such a big selection of different varietals of wine there in a long time.

Maybe it was due to the 90 point IWC review (note the sticker on the bottle), but this Spanish Crianza did not meet my expectations.  The color is a dark purple and nose almost tangy, acidic and powerful in itself.  That theme continued as this is a bold wine with almost grippy tannins and medium plus acidity that overpowers the small amount of dark fruit I tasted.  It left me looking for more after a short tangy finish.  I came back the next day and paired it with some Manchego cheese which helped the fruit come through more and it improved considerably.  Goes to show you how a wine can improve with food, especially when they’re from the same region.

There are better Spanish wines you can find for $14.99 (or less) at Costco, and if you hunt around you can find this for less elsewhere.
— Adam L

Rating: 87
Purchased at Costco in: Van Nuys, CA
Costco item number: 293705

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Wine: Altos de Sueno

Winery:  Castillo de Maluenda

Varietal(s): 75% Grenache, 25% Syrah

Vintage: 2010

Region:  Calatayud Appelation, Aragon Region, Spain

Costco price: $9.89
Reviewed by: Redneck Wine Guy


As I write this, the South has settled into a cold, rainy streak.  The rain seems to never stop, flooding trout streams and keeping wildlife bedded down.  The waders and camouflage stay put up and the pajamas stay on….sometimes all day long.  What I do love about this time of year is the comforts of soul food and red wine.  From stews to roasts, Tempranillo to Bordeaux, the season offers a plethora of opportunity to tour the world in the comforts of home by pairing foods from one country with wines of another.  Today – Spain.


It is safe to say that Spain has caught the eye of the wine world, and in recent years has taken the US market by storm.  Some are coining it the “Spanish Wine Renaissance”, bringing a country rich in wine history back into the conversation after disappearing from world view for many years.  The options are seemingly endless, with many years’ worth of wine exploration that await.


I paired this Altos de Sueno from the Aragon region of Spain with a venison stew made from a hunt from last year.  The grapes in this blend (Grenache/Syrah) compliment and pair well with game meats and each bring out the nuances in the other.  The wine comes off very young, moderately jammy, and probably in need of a little more time in the bottle.  The nose and palate are vibrant with cherry, blackberry, licorice, and is super fruit forward.  Mildly to moderately acidic.  Candidly, I was not all too impressed on Day #1.  What I did find most interesting is Day #2 – both the wine, and the stew, were phenomenally better!  I expected that with the stew, but not with the wine. The “fruitiness” was still there, but was tamed and the palate much more well-rounded.  Good everyday, non-pretentious wine.  Going against the grain, I give it two ratings: Day #1 and Day #2.


Redneck Wine Guy Rating: 85/89

Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA

Costco item number: 803597 

Read More about 2010 Castillo de Maluenda Calatayud Altos de Sueno

  This is a great deal for $10.99 at Costco and really over delivers. The first thing I picked up was the bright cherry aroma on the nose along with the deep red color of the wine.  The fruit comes through immediately and continues mid palate with medium tannins and just enough acidity to balance it out.  It’s medium body allows the flavors to stand out without being overpowered.  My favorite was the red fruit spice that took the wine home through the finish.  Tasting it blind, it might fool you into thinking it could be a Bordeaux.  I enjoy how these Spanish wines from the same region can be so different.  
— Adam L

Rating: 90 Points
Purchased at Costco in: Van Nuys, CA
Costco item number: 782532

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  Anytime I see a new Spanish wine at Costco I’m immediately intrigued (especially at 15.5% alc).  Among the pallets and pallets of wine was this unassuming, under the radar Spanish blend going for $11.99.  

This wine is 40% Mazuelo, 40% Syrah, and 20% Garnacha.  Mazuelo is the name used for Carignan in the Rioja region of northern Spain.  It’s also the third most planted varietal in Spain.  Because of it’s strong acidity it’s most often used as a blending grape.  The nose gives off an aroma of fruit and acidity.  I was surprised that after a few minutes of air how the garnacha started to show itself and complement the strong acidity.  In between the Syrah was well represented carrying the fruit through to a short, chalky finish.  Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at the blend of these grapes.

I’m curious to see what a little less Mazuelo and a little more Garnacha would do to this wine.  Maybe next year…
— Adam L

Rating 88

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I’ve been working diligently on the latest version of my French Wine Book, “Decoding French Wine: A Beginner’s Guide to Enjoying the Fruits of the French Terroir,” and I’m happy to say that this new second edition is live today on

The Kindle version is only $3.99 and it includes information on major French wine regions including Bordeaux, Loire, Burgundy, Alsace, Rhone, Languedoc-Roussillon and Champagne.  This book is short and conscise, written to help the beginner wine drinker become more familiar with French wines that may seem overly complicated and complex.

I wanted to really make this simple to digest, and to help turn more people on to these amazing wines.  If you’ve followed this site for a while, you know I have a tendency to review many of the French wines, particularly the 2010 Bordeaux because they are an amazing vintage. But I also look at many other French wines and regions, because the value is typically so great, especially at Costco. So here’s a chance to boost your knowledge and ultimately, your enjoyment, of these awesome wines.

Download a free sample chapter here.

Thanks for supporting this site.

Andrew, Editor

Read More about French Wine Book Volume 2 Now Available

I just came back from a high end Napa tasting at my local wine shop where I had some excellent Mountain and Rutherford Cabs.  I opened this to have one more glass and was surprised at how well it stood up since my palate was dialed into more new world wines that cost much more than this one did ($12.99 at Costco).

The nose projects nice dark cherry aromas, a little chocolate and some earth.  Palate and mid-palate this wine really holds up well.  Rich flavors, more cherry, red fruit, licorice that is smooth and fruity.  Finishes subtlety at first with a nice fruit kick that’s dry and lasting.

This one tastes a few years older than it really is; a nice elegance at a favorable price.  A good buy for sure. Rating: 89 Points

Costco item number: 786005

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It’s Saturday, which means a lot of you are probably heading to your local Costco, and for $12.69, this is a label you’ll want to keep an eye out for.

This is Monastrell from the Alicante region of Spain, and it’s some of the best Monastrell I’ve tried for this price.  Nose is spicy, with hints of tobacco and on the palate the wine is luscious with dark fruit, blackberry, plum, a little earth and leather.  The finish is why I like Monstrell; it’s spicy and complete. 

The all around balance and execution of this wine is top notch and you’d be hard pressed to find many bottles of this caliber in this price range.  For that reason, I’m naming it to the Bronze Rated and Value Pick lists.  This is a real winner (and it scored 93 points from Wine Advocate if you’re a points person). Rating: 90 Points
*Value Pick*
*Bronze Rated*

Costco item number: 750941

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