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.
An old single vineyard called La Plana located at 485 metres altitude within the 300 hectare Ygay estate surrounding the winery in the southern point of Rioja Alta wine area. It is exclusively used for this gran reserva wine only, and only in the most excellent quality vintages.
Grapes are first carefully de-stemmed, squeezed and then fermented in temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks for 11 days, with daily “remontage” and “pigeage” processes which help the wine to develop its own personality. Both these processes ensure maximum colour and aroma, without producing excessive tannins. The ageing process is 28 months in 225 litre American oak barrels, with at least 10 months in new oak, and 36 months in bottle before release.
A very good quality vintage with warm weather and timely rainfall.
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.
All kinds of red meats, game, ibericos and cured cheeses.
Serve at 18º-19º C. Open one hour before serving.
Vinous Media: 94 POINTS
February 2019, Josh Raynolds
“(Aged in new American and French oak barrels for 28 months) Vivid ruby-red. A highly perfumed, expansive bouquet evokes ripe red and dark berries, cherry liqueur, coconut and cigar box, along with a sexy floral nuance that emerges slowly. Plush and seamless on the palate, offering sweet, deeply concentrated blackberry, cherry-vanilla and mocha flavors that are given spine and lift by a core of juicy acidity. Rich yet energetic in style, displaying superb finishing clarity, even tannins and a lingering spicecake note. The Tempranillo saw only American oak while the Mazuelo component saw only French.”
Wine & Spirits: 95 POINTS, TOP 100 BEST WINES OF THE YEAR
“The vines on the La Plana plateau, the highest point of the estate, at 1,600 feet in elevation, were 60 years old when faced with the heat of the 2009 vintage. The majority of this wine is tempranillo, harvested at the end of September; 19 percent of the blend is mazuelo (carignan), harvested a week later. The wine has the richness of the vintage while the fruit holds its freshness, with tart plum and strawberry notes helping to shape all the flavor concentration. It’s a fat wine with attitude, packing dense tannins that last for minutes and need a decade or more to be fully absorbed into the fruit. It’s supple, heady and delicious now, and significantly more complex with several days of air, as it will be with years of age.”
JamesSuckling.com: 95 POINTS, TOP 100 SPANISH WINES 2018
August 2, 2018, James Suckling
“A special Rioja that’s traditional, but not old-fashioned. Dusty, licorice and spice nose with red fruit. A cool and elegant wine, in spite of the concentration. Long, firm finish. Expands with aeration. From vines planted in 1945. Drink or hold.”
Wine Spectator: 94 POINTS
May 30, 2018, Tom Matthews
“Black cherry, plum, clove, cocoa and mineral flavors are rich and harmonious in this polished red. Well-integrated tannins and balsamic acidity keep this balanced. Shows focus and depth, but remains very fresh. Drink now through 2024.”
The Wine Advocate: 96 POINTS
February 28, 2018, Luis Gutiérrez
“Marqués de Murrieta didn’t produce their top red in 2008, so I tasted the 2009 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial. In 2009, the final blend was Tempranillo with 19% Mazuelo (or Cariñena), one of the highest percentages of Mazuelo ever. The grapes are now sourced from the La Plana vineyard within the Ygay estate, one of the higher-altitude plots at 485 meters. The grapes fermented and aged separately, the Tempranillo in American oak barrels and the Mazuelo in French barriques for 26 months, given its power. It has that seriousness, character and somehow rusticity of the Mazuelo, austere, harmonious and still young. It has good depth and concentration, still young and lively with fine tannins and a backbone of freshness that lifts it up. It will develop for a very long time in bottle. This is a great classical Rioja for the long haul. 109,000 bottles and some larger formats were produced. It was bottled in October 2014. The prices are increasing but so is the quality. The following vintages will be 2010, 2011 and possibly 2012. I cannot wait to taste them…”
Rioja Alta, Spain