Marqués de Murrieta

World class wines from the oldest family owned estate in Rioja

Marqués de Murrieta was one of the first Rioja Houses to be established, in 1852, by Luciano Francisco Ramón de Murrieta one of the founding fathers of modern Rioja winemaking. Luciano, drawing on his experiences in France, felt that to make the best wines in the world the grapes needed to come from a single estate, which guaranteed complete control over the grapes, and established the Ygay Estate near Logroño in Rioja Alta. Luciano was a leader in using French techniques to develop greater complexity and longevity from Tempranillo, Rioja’s indigenous red grape.

As the original visionary and pioneer of the Rioja region, Luciano was made Marqués de Murrieta by Queen Isabel II. After the death of the Marqués in 1911, the bodega was taken over by the Olivares family and then in 1983 by D. Vicente Cebrián-Sagarriga, Count of Creixell. The new owner’s aim was to establish Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta among the best wineries in the world.

His son, Vicente Dalmau, continues this tradition and respect for the unique land of Finca Ygay. Today the estate covers 300 hectares and the philosophy is one of quality, with low yields in the vineyard and limited production in the winery which are the key to the quality and style of Marqués de Murrieta wines. Vicente has overseen the restoration of the historic Castillo, built a new winery at the estate in Logroño to continue the drive for the best quality wines from the region.

The vineyards are divided into several smaller plots, including the single vineyards of Capellanía, Canajas (from which the grapes for Dalmau hail, including a small plot of old vine Cabernet Sauvignon) and La Plana, the home of the esteemed Castillo Ygay, which was voted the number one wine in the world by Wine Spectator last year.

Winemaker Maria Vargas, having been at the winery since she graduated, works with Vicente to develop and evolve the signature Murrieta style, creating subtle yet age-worthy red wines alongside leading the way for world class white wines from Rioja with Capellania and the rare Castillo Ygay Blanco. These are truly handmade, world class wines from the oldest family owned estate in Rioja.

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Blanco Reserva 'Capellania' 2016 — Marqués de Murrieta

Blanco Reserva 'Capellania' 2016

Rioja Alta, Spain

100% Viura

Tasting note

Smoky and nutty on the nose with aromas of fresh quince, pear, almonds and toasted notes. The palate showcases touches of oak, almonds, camomile, pear, dried apricots and has a creamy feel. There is superb balance and texture, with a line of fine acidity, the wine really develops in the mouth.

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Blanco Reserva 'Capellania' 2015 — Marqués de Murrieta

Blanco Reserva 'Capellania' 2015

Rioja Alta, Spain

100% Viura

Tasting note

Complex aromas of quince, pear, fresh almonds and toasted notes combine with a distinct salinity. Powerful, elegant and fresh on the palate with great acidity. A touch of creaminess, with camomile, dried apricots and pears with just a touch of honey.

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Reserva 2016 — Marqués de Murrieta

Reserva 2016

Rioja Alta, Spain

87% Tempranillo
6% Graciano
5% Mazuelo
2% Garnacha

Tasting note

Flavours of ripe plum, red cherry and berries blend with spicy notes of licorice and sweet balsamic. The wine is silky and well balanced with rounded tannins and refreshing acidity. The long, mineral finish has notes of sweet spice and ripe plum fruit.

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Gran Reserva 2014 — Marqués de Murrieta

Gran Reserva 2014

Rioja Alta, Spain

84% Tempranillo
9% Graciano
5% Mazuelo
2% Garnacha

Tasting note

This is a full-bodied and generous Gran Reserva Rioja, with flavours of red currants, cherries and aromatic herbs, spicy oak and soft vanilla, with subtle tones of Christmas spices evident on the palate and a rich, velvety finish.

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Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva 2010 — Marqués de Murrieta

Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva 2010

Rioja Alta, Spain

85% Tempranillo
15% Mazuelo

Tasting note

The nose exhibits an aromatic intensity full of bright red fruits, floral notes, truffles, and incense, spicy touches. The wine is full bodied with a satin soft mouth feel. A Gran Reserva that shows strength, an elegant bouquet, fruity intensity and impeccable balance.

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Castillo Ygay Blanco Gran Reserva Especial 1986 — Marqués de Murrieta

Castillo Ygay Blanco Gran Reserva Especial 1986

Rioja Alta, Spain

97% Viura
3% Malvasia

Tasting note

“I have been terribly excited about this wine since I first learned that (part of) it was still in cement waiting to be bottled in September 2013. I consider the rare white Castillo Ygay one of the greatest white wines ever produced in Spain, and the 1986 Castillo Ygay Blanco Gran Reserva Especial is a great addition to the portfolio of the winery–an historic wine that is coming back to life. I did a vertical tasting of many of the old, historic vintages of this wine, and they are included in a separate article in this very same issue. This 1986 had seen the light as a limited early release bottled in 1992 and sold around 1995, and some bottles might still be found in the market. But most of it remained unbottled and was kept at the winery, where it stayed in oak for 21 years, followed by some six years in cement vats until it was bottled. It has 13.5% alcohol, an extremely low pH of 2.98 and 6.75 grams of acidity (tartaric). It has a very subtle nose and it’s a bit shy, a little closed at first. It was only bottled one and a half years ago, and it’s not crazy to say that the wine is showing extremely young. The wine shows more open the day after, when it has developed some nuances of mushrooms and verbena tea. This is mostly Viura with perhaps a pinch of Malvasía Riojana (aka Alarije). The palate is both powerful and elegant, with superb acidity and great length, with volume and sharpness, with a mineral, umami-driven finish. It fills your mouth, tickles your taste buds and makes you salivate. There is nothing negative about the wine; there is no excess oak, nothing blurry, nothing to improve… perhaps the bottle used! I think this is a perfect wine. It seems to be getting younger and younger with time in the glass; it seems to be getting more focused and sharper, and I have no doubt the wine will evolve and last for a very, very, very long time in bottle. I kept the opened bottle for almost one week and the wine didn’t move one inch–no oxidation or any signs of fatigue. Having tasted many other vintages, including the also perfect 1919 (which is still going strong at age 97), I have no doubt we’re talking about a white for the next 50 years. Looking at the older vintages, I might even be underestimating its life span. The potential next release could be the 1998 in no less than ten years’ time.

There is something truly exceptional happening at Marqués de Murrieta: the rare white Castillo de Ygay is making a comeback! And nothing other than the 1986, a fully 30 years after the vintage!”

Luis Gutierrez

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Dalmau Reserva 2016 — Marqués de Murrieta

Dalmau Reserva 2016

Rioja Alta, Spain

82% Tempranillo
15% Cabernet Sauvignon
3% Graciano

Tasting note

Dalmau has a complex nose, with aromas of wild fruits and dark chocolate, combined with creamy, spicy aromas following ageing in new French oak barrels.

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Rioja Report 2020 by Tim Atkin with great scores for Marqués de Murrieta

Rioja Report 2020 by Tim Atkin with great scores for Marqués de Murrieta

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What Spain’s MWs like – Norrel Robertson

What Spain’s MWs like – Norrel Robertson

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Alvarinho vs Albariño wines: Top wines from Portugal and Spain – Decanter

Alvarinho vs Albariño wines: Top wines from Portugal and Spain – Decanter

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Maisons Marques et Domaines holds its Annual Portfolio Tasting

Maisons Marques et Domaines holds its Annual Portfolio Tasting

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Maisons Marques et Domaines holds its Annual Portfolio Tasting

Maisons Marques et Domaines holds its Annual Portfolio Tasting

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Excellent Parker Scores for Murrieta!

Excellent Parker Scores for Murrieta!

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