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.
A selection of the best fruit available in selected vintages from an old single vineyard called “Canajas” plot. It is located at 465 metres altitude within the 300 hectare Ygay estate surrounding the winery in the southern point of Rioja Alta wine area. Special green harvest techniques – crop thinning – are carried out in the pursuit for fresh concentration and complexity.
Grapes are first carefully de-stemmed and then fermented both in a temperature controlled, stainless steel tank and a wooden vat for 11 days, with daily “remontage” and “delestage” processes, in order to obtain full potential of the perfect condition grapes. While Tempranillo ferments in three stainless steel deposits, Cabernet Sauvignon and Graciano ferment individually in a wooden vat. The grapes are vinified separately to keep their character intact. The ageing process is 21 months in 225 litre new French oak barrels and 12 months in bottle before release. Wine was bottled on July 23, 2018.
A cooler year in Rioja, with rainfall during harvest. Marques de Murrieta harvested before the rains came in and have produced a fresher, more elegant style of wines in 2014.
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.
Deboned ox tail with red wine, mint and clove flavouring, crunchy fried breadcrumbs; stewed Pigeon, red wine, cacao and black pepper; veal shank, potato croquette and red piquillo pepper; dark chocolate truffles…
Serve at 16º-18º C. Open one hour before serving.
The Wine Advocate: 94 POINTS
June 29, 2019, Luis Gutiérrez
“The more modern of the portfolio, the 2014 Dalmau Reserva is a blend of 75% Tempranillo, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Graciano from the Pago Canajas in the Murrieta estate. The varieties fermented separately for around 11 days, the Tempranillo in stainless steel and the rest in small oak vats. The wine matured in French oak barrels for 21 months. I tasted the following two vintages, which felt quite different, especially the 2016. This 2014 is a slightly weaker vintage and feels a little more marked by the élevage with some cedary notes, smoky and spicy with the herbal twist from the Cabernet. It has a minty touch, some fine-grained tannins and a round and elegant palate. This is the only wine from Murrieta that ages in 100% new French oak.”
Decanter: 98 POINTS
February 1, 2019
“How much better can Dalmau get? It’s exceptionally finely balanced, a perfect expression of a single vineyard within the estate, resoundingly full of black fruit, dark chocolate, liquorice. A powerful wine, but never overbearing, even in its youth. Wonderful to enjoy now, but will seriously reward cellaring.”
JamesSuckling.com: 93 POINTS
August 2, 2018, James Suckling
“With its bell-pepper cabernet touch and rather sinewy tannins, this is unique Rioja. All of this is wrapped in the warmth and richness of tempranillo, but the cabernet shows again in the long, dry finish. Just beginning to open up, but plenty of freshness. From 90-year-old vines. Drink or hold.”
Greg Sherwood MW: 97+ POINTS
“Rated internationally by critics from between 97 and 99/100, this wines reputation certainly preceded it. The aromatics are big and bold, packed full of dark chocolate, sweet black cherry and black current laced with cocoa powder and espresso vanilla pod spice. Seductive brambly black fruit notes fill the palate, punctuated by intense smokey black cherry concentration, piercing acids and layers of unctuous, hedonistic, opulent sweet tannins and glycerol fruit weight. This is certainly a very serious effort and possibly the best expression of the Dalmau blend produced to date. A seductive, thought provoking wine. Modern styled Rioja doesn’t get much better than this.”
Rioja Alta, Spain
15% Cabernet Sauvignon