Established in 1852, Murrieta is one of the oldest and most respected bodegas in Rioja Alta. Their wines are concentrated and long-lived and some, like “Castillo Ygay”, have become legendary amongst wine-lovers. Marqués de Murrieta has not stood back and stagnated however; their 300 hectare estate produces Dalmau – a blend which represents an avant-garde expression of their terroir.
A selection of the best fruit available in selected vintages from an old single vineyard called “Canajas” plot. It is located at 465 metres altitude within the 300 hectare Ygay estate surrounding the winery in the southern point of Rioja Alta wine area. Special green harvest techniques – crop thinning – are carried out in the pursuit for fresh concentration and complexity.
Grapes are first carefully de-stemmed and then fermented both in a temperature controlled, stainless steel tank and a wooden vat for 11 days, with daily “remontage” and “delestage” processes, in order to obtain full potential of the perfect condition grapes. While Tempranillo ferments in three stainless steel deposits, Cabernet Sauvignon and Graciano ferment individually in a wooden vat. The grapes are vinified separately to keep their character intact. The ageing process is 19 months in 225 litre new French oak barrels and 12 months in bottle before release. Bottled in September 2014.
Harvest started early in Rioja after a year marked by very low rainfall over the winter, during the summer and right through harvest – Tempranillo was picked on the 23rd September, Cabernet on the 20th and Graciano on the 28th. Lack of water remained the main concern throughout the growing period and is largely responsible for this year’s modest crop (see below) – the region’s potential production currently stands at 460 million kg. Other significant weather events were few and far between; there was little incidence of frost, no significant storm damage and the dry conditions kept vineyard diseases at bay.
It has a complex and velvety nose, with an explosion of aromas of wild fruits, dark chocolate and mineral notes, elegantly combined with the creamy toasting of its ageing in the new French oak barrels. An elegant and extraordinary wine which impresses in every way, with body and harmony, of magnificent balance which creates a powerful wine.
All red meats, roasts and game. Excellent also with cheeses.
Serve at 16º-18º C. Open one hour before serving.
Tim Atkin MW: 96 Points
‘A brilliant Rioja-meets-Bordeaux style with that inimitable Murrieta touch.’
Guia Peñin: 95 Points
Cherry colour with garnet rim. Aromas of mature fruit, spices, creamy oak, toast, chocolate and earthy. Powerful palate, tasty, toasted and mature tannins.
Parker: 94 Points
Rioja Alta, Spain
15% Cabernet Sauvignon