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.
Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial hails from an old single vineyard called La Plana situated at 485 metres altitude within the 300 hectare Ygay estate surrounding the winery in the southern point of Rioja Alta. The vines were planted in 1950 on calcareous-clay soils and benefit from the highest altitude at the winery, ensuring a long ripening and elegant wines.
Bunches are de-stemmed and gently crushed, before being racked into stainless steel vats. Fermentation takes around eleven days, during which time pump over and punch downs take place to extract aromas and poliphenols in a gentle and slow manner. The Tempranillo is aged for 28 months in 225-litre American oak barrels while the Mazuelo is aged in French oak barrels. After blending, the wine spends 13 moths in concrete vats before being bottled. The 2011 vintage was bottled in February 2016.
The 2011 vintage was rated Excellent by the Consejo, alongisde the 2010, 2005, 2004 and 2001 vintages all of which were outstanding for Castillo Ygay. The 2011 growing cycle was marked by sunny days and cool nights, which has given rise to grapes filled with colour and concentration. The resulting wines have long lives ahead of them. For Maria Vargas, winemaker at Marques de Murrieta, the 2011 vintage is the truest expression of Castillo Ygay and one that really speaks of the La Plana vinyeard and the elegance that the altitude of the plot lends the wine in a concentrated year. “After an unforgettable 2010 vintage, Castillo Ygay once again shows the amazing potential of the La Plana single vineyard”.
An endless and complex medley of aromas on the nose including ripe cherry, blueberry, cassis with refined hints of garrigue, Mediterranean herbs, black pepper, clove and mocha. Balance really defines this vintage on the palate, which is lively yet boasts super concentration and structure, with silky tannins and a long finish.
Steamed grouper fidsh, grilled quid in ink sauce, slow cooked beef in red wine as well as hard cheeses
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 – Wines of the Year, 96 Points
Marrying Tempranillo with 16% Mazuelo it reflects the hotter conditions of the 2011 growing season, with dense tannins, wild herb aromas, well judged French and American Oak, inky damson, black olive and fig flavours and the backbone and acidity to age.
Rioja Alta, Spain