Marqués de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial
December 6, 2022, Sarah Jane Evans MW
“Look at an early bottle of this wine and you will see that it was labelled Château Ygay. However, eventually France complained – hence the Castillo Ygay we have now. The Castle is a worthy name for one of Rioja's most famed wines from one of Rioja's founding wineries. It carries lightly its two years in American oak and its following years in bottle, revealing elegant spicing, red fruits and bright acidity. The 16% Mazuelo is important here for freshness: a distinguishing feature of Murrieta vineyard resources.”
September 13, 2022, James Suckling
“Extremely well-mannered, traditional character to this, showing layer upon layer of savory complexity on the nose, with iron, dried meat, tobacco, balsamic fruit, dried red berries, orange peel, leather and dried mushrooms. A medium-to full-bodied, linear and zesty Rioja that’s full of nuanced flavors that linger through the very long, savory finish. Floral, too. Yet, it remains bright and precise. Tempranillo with 16% mazuelo. Drink on release or hold.”
97 Points, #11 Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2022
April 1, 2022, Mike DeSimone
“Deep violet-red to the eye, this wine has a nose of raspberry, white chocolate and juniper berry. Still youthful on the palate, it offers ever-present tannins supporting flavors of dark plum, black cherry, caramel and violet that slowly fade into a soft cherry-pie finish. Drink through 2042.”
September 30, 2021, Gillian Sciaretta
“This polished red shows lots of depth, with cola-lined notes of glossy dark cherry and black olive hedged with wild herb, anise, loamy earth, mocha and clove. Refined, harmonious and expressive. To be released Spring 2022. Drink now through 2031.”
April 2021, Josh Raynolds
“Deep garnet. A highly perfumed, complex bouquet evokes red and blue fruits, incense, pipe tobacco, vanilla and mocha, along with smoky mineral and spice nuances that build in the glass. Sappy, palate-staining black raspberry, cherry compote, succulent herb, candied rose and vanilla flavors show excellent depth and clarity, while a spine of juicy acidity contributes cut and structure. Shows excellent energy and detail, finishing with strong persistence, repeating florality and velvety tannins that come in late.”
The Cebrián-Sagarriga family, who in 1983 acquired the Marqués de Murrieta winery, established in 1852, has a distinct winemaking philosophy that is founded in the pursuit of quality and excellence through tradition and innovation.
Only the finest vintages from the 741-acre Ygay Estate are used to make Castillo Ygay. This Gran Reserva Especial is made from tempranillo and mazuelo from vineyards located at 485 meters above sea level. Limited in production and sought after all over the world, it is the worthy choice for the winery's emblematic Castillo Ygay label.
The grapes were first carefully destemmed and squeezed and then fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for 11 days with daily remontage and pigeage processes to help develop the wine's personality. These processes ensured maximum color and aroma without producing excessive tannin. The wine spent 24 months in 225-liter American and French oak barrels, and then three years in the bottle before being released to the market.
The grapes are manually harvested from an 80-year-old single-vineyard called La Plana, located at the highest peak within the Ygay Estate which surrounds the winery in the southern point of the Rioja Alta wine subzone. Bunches are destemmed and gently crushed, before being racked into stainless steel vats. Fermentation takes around eleven days, during which we pump over and punch down the cap in order to extract aromas and poliphenols slowly and naturally. The tempranillo was harvested on September 17-22 and the mazuelo on September 28.
Pairs beautifully with wood pigeon braised in red wine, cocoa, black pepper and Iberian ham fat; wagyu sirloin tartare, capers jam and soufflé potatoes; pil pil hake cheeks, codfi sh crispy skin and candied crystal pepper; Moliterno cheese with black truffles, sour cherry jam and Castillo Ygay red wine. Decanting the wine for 20 minutes is recommended. Best enjoyed between 64º- 66ºF.
Varietals: 84% Tempranillo, 16% Mazuelo
Wine Alcohol: 14%
Bottling Date: February 2016
Aging: 28 months in 225-litre American and French oak barrels