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.
Bunches are de-stemmed and gently crushed, before being racked into stainless steel vats. Fermentation takes around eleven days, during which we pump over and punch down the cap in order to extract aromas and poliphenols slowly and naturally. The wine is aged for 24 months in 225-litre American and French oak barrels. Bottled March 2015.
This excellent vintage has the potential to stand alongside 2005. The vintage is also benefiting from Rioja’s decision to reduce yields – by 10% for reds, 5% for whites – in order to improve quality. The weather throughout was very favourable. Fruit set was a little later than usual, in June, but the cycle through to harvest was healthy and even. it shows the balance, structure and freshness for long ageing.
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.
Wood pigeon braised in red wine, cocoa, black pepper and Iberian ham fat; wagyu sirloin tartare, capers jam and soufflé potatoes; pil pil hake cheeks, codfish crispy skin and candied crystal pepper; Moliterno cheese with black truffles, sour cherry jam and Castillo Ygay red wine.
We recommend decanting the wine for 20 minutes and serve at around 14°-16° C to let the wine breathe and show its full aromatic potential.
Tim Atkin MW – Wine of the Year 2020
99 Points – James Suckling
“Marvellous aromas of crushed berries, tobacco, cedar and mushrooms. Some dried cheese. Then turns to flowers. Very complex. Full and intense with fantastic depth and power. It goes on for minutes. It is a wine that exudes tradition but gives a sense of modernity with precise winemaking. Two years in oak, one in concrete and three or four in bottle. Drink on release and age onwards.
97 Points – Decanter
“Ygay these days is a blend of Tempranillo and Mazuelo, the latter making up 15% in this vintage. 2010 will be remembered in the great vineyards of Europe as a classic year, elegant restraint and wonderful harmonious balance, even in youth, its key characteristics. The Ygay fits this template perfectly; plums and sloes, hints of blueberry and cassis, then figs, cocoa and sousbois, a distinct balsamic note to underline provenance. The Mazuelo etches fresh acidity and a powerful finish, leaving the Tempranillo the opportunity to dance flamboyantly on the mid-palate, the bringer of joy and harmony.
97 Points – Wine Advocate
98 Points – Guia Proensa
97 points – Guia Gourmets
Rioja Alta, Spain