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. The bodega was taken over in 1983 by the Cebrian family and is run today by Vicente Dalmau Cebrian, Count of Creixell. Vicente’s aim is to establish Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta among the best wineries in the world, and the recent vintages show he is doing just that. Working with winemaker Maria Vargas, they are developing and evolving 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.
The grapes for Capellania come from the eponymous single vinyeard site, which is situated at an altitude of around 485m, one of the highest points of the Ygay estate. The vines were planted in 1945, so provide wonderfully concentrated grapes for this leading white wine from Rioja.
Grapes are first carefully crushed and after a short period of skin contact are gently pressed in a vertical press for a very gentle extraction preserving all of the aromatic potential. The juice is then settled and fermented in a temperature-controlled stainless steel tank for 24 days. The wine is then aged for 24 months in 225-litre new french oak barrels, and bottled on March 26th, 2021.
2017 is classified as very good by the consejo. It is a high quality-low volume vintage, a spell of frost in April resulting in a 25% reduction in the crop. Aside from this, the rest of the growing season had favourable conditions resulting in a classic style of Rioja Reserva.
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.
Capellania pairs well with sea bream, smoked fish, crab linguini, roast chicken, and the cheeseboard at the end of the meal. It's incredibly versatile and also pairs well with Asian dishes.
Serve at 14º-15º C. Open one hour before serving.
DECANTER (UK): 97 POINTS
JAMES SUCKLING (UK): 95 POINTS
TIM ATKIN (UK): 95 POINTS
ROBERT PARKER (USA): 94 POINTS
Rioja Alta, Spain