Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva 2005
Other Red Blends from Rioja, Spain
#84 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2014
A living legend of Rioja, which has survived three centuries, destined to break records for its surprising vivacity of intense cherry color which gives an amazing complexity. Its nose exhibits an aromatic intensity which seduces us with its red fruits, floral notes of truffles, incense and spicy touches. It carresses the palate with satin texture. A Gran Riserva that shows strength, elegant bouquet, fruity intensity and impeccable balance.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2005 Castillo de Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, a classic among classics, is back in top form with the excellent 2005 vintage. It’s produced from a blend of 89% Tempranillo and 11% Mazuelo (aka Carinena), a difficult grape that is in high esteem at the winery (they exceptionally produced a varietal Mazuelo in 2000 to celebrate their 150th anniversary) as they consider it adds acidity and aging potential to the blend and has been selected specifically to make part of the flagship wine’s blend. In 2005, the Tempranillo was harvested on September 30, the Mazuelo on October 3, and fermented separately in stainless steel vats. The Tempranillo ages in American oak barrels and the Mazuelo in French ones, both for a period of 30 months. The wine matures for a further two years in bottle before being released. It’s extremely backward and tight, showing very young, with a balanced nose between spice, tertiary and cherry fruit aromas. It’s a powerful, still young vintage, with plenty of glycerin, body, round tannins. An austere wine (is it the Mazuelo?), it is complex and ever-changing in the palate. It has a sense of harmony that only the best wines have. Very long and elegant. I loved its serious and austere overall feeling. 100,000 bottles produced. This is a true vin de garde which develops complex notes of violet and meat with time in the glass. This is a Gran Reserva greatly marked by the Mazuelo, which should give it great ability to age. At this quality level it represents very good value. Drink 2014-2030. "
Wine Enthusiast - "Superb at every checkpoint, this is a world-class wine. Cherry, cassis and earth aromas are spicy and mellow, not bullish or loud. This feels creamy but with enough textural grit to keep things lively, while flavors of vanilla, tobacco and plum are nicely integrated. A mild, medium-long finish epitomizes elegance. Drink now through 2025."
Wine Spectator - "Bold and rich, this red fills the palate with blackberry, plum sauce, soy, chocolate and spice flavors. Broad and deep, in a modern style, with plenty of oak and enough backbone to stay focused. Drink now through 2020. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. "
Wine & Spirits - "From 45-year-old vines at La Plana, a plateau of limestone and river rocks at 1,600 feet on Murrieta’s Finca Ygay, this vintage blends tempranillo with 11 percent mazuelo. It’s a Super Rioja, physically more powerful though perhaps less immediately terroir expressive than the 2004. The detail is all incipient in the wine, sparkling with acidity and mica-like reflections in the tannins, layering strawberry with blue fruit and black licorice, youthful and bright, smoky and firm. The texture is as grand as the expansive finish. This wine has the stamina and the breed to age for decades."
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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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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