Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Riserva 2001
Other Red Blends from Rioja, Spain
The Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2001 is a complex and elegant classic. This Gran Reserva Especial is made from Tempranillo and Mazuelo from vineyards located at 500 meters above sea level. The winemaking process has ensured maximum color and aroma without producing excessive tannin.
The Wine Advocate - "I reported on the current release, the 2001 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, previously but underrated it slightly. This cuvee is sourced from a single plot called La Plana planted at over 1500 feet of elevation. It is made up of 93% Tempranillo and 7% Mazuelo chosen for its acidity. The wine is aged for 10 months in new American oak followed by 21 months in seasoned oak. It is then held in bottle for 3-4 years prior to release. Deeply colored, spicy, elegant and complex, the wine has great volume and grip as well as exceptional length. It can be approached now but will easily have a 30 year lifespan."
International Wine Cellar - "Medium red. Impressively complex bouquet of dried red fruits, tobacco, cedar and potpourri. A spicy, subtly sweet midweight, offering lively redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors and very soft tannins. The smoky finish features a strong echo of cedary spice. Incidentally, the 2004 Dalmau seems to be slowly eating up its strong oak component, as a bottle that I recently tasted is showing more vibrant red fruit than last year."
Marques de Murrieta Winery
Marques de Murrieta is named after Luciano de Murrieta, one of the founding fathers of modern Rioja winemaking, who established the estate in 1852 in the world-renowned Rioja region of Spain. Today V. Dalmau Cebrian-Sagarriga, Count of Creixell, leads the family-owned company. With a vision of innovation and respect for tradition, Marques de Murrieta is rooted in strong, historical fundamentals that shape the vision and philosophy of this iconic Spanish brand. The winery is near the southern tip of the Rioja Alta in the middle of the beautiful Ygay Estate, a unique 300-hectare vineyard that guarantees complete control over the grape source and is the key to the quality and style of Marques de Murrieta wines. View all Marques de Murrieta Wines
About RiojaView a map of Rioja wineries (ree-OH-hah) Spain makes some of the best Tempranillo-based wines in the world. Once the only DOCa (recently joined by Priorat in 2001), Rioja is divided into 3 sub-regions: Rioja Baja, Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa. There are 4 red varieties and 3 white varieties allowed in the Rioja DOC. Tempranillo definitely takes center stage, followed by Garnacha (Grenache)), which is sometimes added for body, then Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan). The region also makes roses. For whites, the main grape is Viura (or Macebo), producing fresh, early-drinking wines. Malvasia, the grape that was once the most planted white, is found less often.
Notable FactsThe Rioja wine trade is somewhat confusing. Grapes are typically brought to a merchant's bodega from one of the 20,000+ growers in the region, or via a cooperative. The wine is then bottled and labelled by that bodega. Rioja's Consejo Regulador keeps track of all vineyards and bodegas to make sure they are following the DOCa regulations. Put in place to ensure quality, the system also controls prices.
As with the rest of Spain, the wine label may state Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, depending on barrel & bottle maturation. Crianzas are usually found within two years of the vintage and offer fresh, ripe wines. Reserva and Gran Reserva will be found a few years after the vintage, as the bodega will be aging the wines in barrel and bottle before release. Both typically show more secondary characteristics of spice and oak ageing.
The most popular red varieties of Spain include Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Whites don't garner quite as much recognition, but there are some regional varieties not to be missed, like Albarino and Verdejo. The popular red regions of Spain include Rioja, known for its outstanding wines of the Tempranillo grape; Ribera del Duero, producing high quality reds from Tempranillo and Garnacha; Galacia, with the sub-region of Rias Baixas, home to the deliciously crisp and floral Albarino grape; and Priorat, a region increasing in popularity with its high-quality cult reds. Other regions of note are Rueda, growing the Verdejo grape, La Mancha, a wide desert region, covered in the most planted white variety in the world, Airen, and Jumilla, making wines based on Monastrell (Mourvedre).
Spain's wine laws are based on the Denominacion de Origen (DO) classification system, devised in the 1930's. A four tiered system, the most basic level is Vina de Mesa (table wine) followed by Vino de la Tierra (country wine), DO and at the top DOC. Currently, only Rioja and Priorat have DOC status, while over 65 DO's scatter the country.
Most DO regions are classified and regulated by how long they age the wines. On a red wine label, one may find the terms Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, denoting the wine's barrel and bottle time. Crianza is usually two years between barrel and bottle (the time in each depends on the DO and/or the winemaker), Reserva up to 4 years and Gran Reserva 5 – 6 years. Classifications of each region and wine are controlled by the region's Consejo Regulador.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.