Marqués de Murrieta Dalmau Reserva
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.”
The Cebrián-Sagarriga family, who in 1983 acquired the winery, established in 1852, has a distinct winemaking philosophy that is founded in the pursuit of quality and excellence through tradition and innovation. To speak about Dalmau is to speak about Canajas, a unique single vineyard within the 741-acre Ygay Estate. The vines in that vineyard are more than 60 years old and are located at 465 meters. Long maceration during fermentation, aging in new French oak barrels and very limited production characterize the wine.
This modern Rioja wine made from tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon and graciano perfectly reflects the innovations taking place at Marqués de Murrieta.
Grapes are first carefully destemmed and then each variety ferments separately for 11 days. Tempranillo is vatted in stainless steel and cabernet sauvignon in an oak vat. Pumping over and delestage (rack-and-return) operations are carried out on a daily basis.
The grapes are vinified separately to keep their peculiarities intact. Dalmau 2014 was aged 21months in 225-liter new French oak barrels and then 12 months in the bottle before release.
Dalmau 2014 shows a very expressive nose and great complexity that encompasses a wide range of aromas which evoke ripe black plum and blackcurrant, chocolate, black pepper, forest floor and a hint of balsamic which provides freshness. A bold fruit-forward palate, with fresh acidity and silky tannins gives the wine structure, wideness and depth. With a perfect balance between elegance and power, Dalmau expresses the awesome personality of the vineyard it comes from.
Harvest is done manually. The tempranillo was picked on October 8, and cabernet and graciano were picked on October 14, 2014.
The 2014 vintage pairs beautifully with smoked tuna, beef sirloin steak tartar, pine nuts and capers jam; bresse pigeon breast, corn and cauliflower mayonnaise; marinated deer loin, blackcurrants and blueberries over acid apple puree. Decanting the wine for 20 minutes is recommended. Best enjoyed between 60º- 64ºF.
Varietals: 75%Tempranillo, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Graciano
Wine Alcohol: 14%
Bottling Date: July 23, 2018
Aging: 21 months in 225-liter French Allier oak barrels