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. The wine is aged for 21 months in 225-litre American oak barrels.
The harvest report from authorities in Rioja describes 2018 as “a complex year with a marked Atlantic influence”. The growing season was not without challenges especially in the spring and early summer. Spring was cold and humid with a lot of rain which delayed bud break and showery weather during flowering led to outbreaks of mildew and the need for treatments in the vineyard. The early summer period was also rainy with much hotter sunny weather following in August allowing the vines to catch up. The ripening process continued gradually with cooler weather than usual in September which favoured good balance in the fruit. This year’s harvest was more generous, with far higher volumes than last year while wine styles are said to be fresher and alcohol levels are generally a little lower than recent years reflecting the cooler year. Harvest took place 1-20th October, 2018
Refined aromas of plums, blueberries and redcurrants that led to a bed of spices, flowers and balsamic touches, so distinctive of the Ygay Estate. Succulent, round and well-balanced in the mouth. A muscular wine with great potential.
“The 2018 vintage marks a turning point and inaugurates a new era that represents the future for Marqués de Murrieta” María Vargas – Technical Director.
Grilled and baked scallop with red wine sauce and truffled liquid potato. Twice-cooked sea bass, sweet onion, apple and foie mousse and fine velouté. Roast breast of Mallard duck, crispy potato and borage flower. Soft cow's milk cheese and truffled Brie.
Serve at 16º-18º C. Open one hour before serving.
PROENSA (SPA): 97 POINTS.
ROBERT PARKER (USA): 94 POINTS.
JAMES SUCKLING (UK): 94 POINTS.
TIM ATKIN (UK): 94 POINTS.
GUÍA ABC (SPA): 93 POINTS.
GUÍA GOURMETS (SPA): 93 POINTS.
WINE SPECTATOR (USA): 91 POINTS.
WINE SPECTATOR (USA): TOP 4 – WINE VALUES 2022
Rioja Alta, Spain