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.
Within the 300 hectare Ygay estate, surrounding the winery in the southern point of Rioja Alta wine area. There is an altitude difference of 165 metres between the lowest point at 320 metres and the highest peak at 485 metres.
Grapes are first de-stemmed and then fermented in temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks for 8 days, with constant skin contact. During fermentation wine is both pumped over the cap of grape skins at the top of the tank (remontage), and also the cap is pressed into the fermenting wine (pigeage). Both these processes ensure a perfect colour and aroma extraction, without producing excessive tannin. Afterwards the solid parts of the grapes are pressed in vertical presses with double screws. This is a smooth and slow treatment that favours the extraction of the colour and tannins that reside in the skin of the grapes.
Grapes were harvested by hand September 14 to October 16.
Aging: Aged for 18 months in 225-liter American oak
Flavours of ripe plum, red cherry and berries blend with spicy notes of licorice and sweet balsamic. The wine is silky and well balanced with rounded tannins and refreshing acidity. The long, mineral finish has notes of sweet spice and ripe plum fruit.
The Spanish love their lamb, beef and - obviously - jamón! This is the perfect partner.
Serve at 16º-18º C. Open one hour before serving.
The Wine Advocate: 93 POINTS
June 29, 2019, Luis Gutiérrez
“The red blend 2015 Rioja Reserva is 80% Tempranillo with 12% Graciano, 6% Mazuelo and 2% Garnacha, a little more Graciano and Mazuelo, something logical in ripe and warm years like 2015. It’s produced with grapes from a diversity of the 30 different plots within the estate, to represent the character of it. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in American oak barrels for 18 months. It’s spicy and somewhat balsamic, with some dusty tannins. It’s a ripe and powerful vintage that only suffers next to the 2016 I tasted next to it when there’s a jump in precision and finesse.”
Wine Spectator: 92 POINTS
June 2019, Tom Matthews
“Cedar, tobacco, dried cherry and spice flavors mingle in this red. Features a polished texture, with well-integrated tannins and orange peel acidity. Supple, harmonious and graceful. Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha. Drink now through 2025.”
JamesSuckling.com: 93 POINTS
August 2, 2018, James Suckling
“So fresh and elegant with more than enough concentration and structure, this is a fine example of a 2015 Reserva. Ripe-blackberry, licorice, smoke and bourbon notes. I love the velvety texture of the long, intense finish. Better from 2019 and with long aging potential.”
Wine & Spirits: 92 POINTS
“This grows at Finca Ygay, Murrieta’s estate in Logroño. It’s based on tempranillo (80 percent), with graciano, mazuelo and garnacha adding spice. Black and smoky up front, with dark-cherry richness, it has a silken texture and notes of cardamom to point up the meaty edges of the tannins. Its ripeness feels easy and relaxed, ready for duck breast seared rare.”
Rioja Alta, Spain