Marqués de Murrieta Reserva Rioja
View From the Cellar
February 2023, John Gilman
“The 2018 Rioja Finca Ygay “Reserva” from Marqués de Murrieta is composed from a blend of eighty-six percent tempranillo, eight percent graciano, four percent mazuelo and two percent garnacha in this vintage. The wine is aged for twenty-one months in American oak casks, two hundred and twenty-five liters in size, with a percentage of the casks new for this wine. The wine is still fairly youthful at five years of age, offering up a bright and complex nose of raspberries, cigar wrapper, a lovely base of soil tones, Rioja spices, woodsmoke, a touch of spiced meats and cedary oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and already nicely transparent in personality, with a lovely core of fruit, excellent soil signature and grip, ripe tannins and a long, tangy and complex finish. This is going to be a superb bottle, but with the addition of some new American oak for the elevage, the wine still has some tannins to soften up before it starts to truly drink properly, so show it a bit of patience and let it rest comfortably in the cellar for a few years. 2030-2085+.”
The Wine Advocate
July 14, 2022, Luis Gutiérrez
“The flagship red 2018 Rioja Reserva was produced with a blend of 86% Tempranillo, 8% Graciano, 4% Mazuelo (a.k.a. Cariñena) and 2% Garnacha selected from their 300 hectares of vineyards that exemplifies the character of the vintage and the place. 2018 was a year with good rain and a cool season that resulted in a late harvest, which started on October 1 and was slow and delivered grapes with good freshness. Each variety and plot fermented separately in stainless steel. and the wines aged separately in American oak barrels for 21 months and then settled in concrete until bottling. It follows the path of the 2016, where I noticed a change that is taken further in this, controlling the power and increasing the freshness. It's very aromatic, a year completely different from the 2017; it has less structure and more freshness and subtler balance and enough oomph, concentration and power neatly compensated by freshness. I believe 2018 was a very good vintage to implement this change. It's perfumed, fresh, elegant and medium-bodied, with a velvety texture. Superb!”
June 27, 2022, James Suckling
“Savory cured-meat, tobacco and grilled-spice notes to the bright plum, red-date, cherry and green-olive aromas. Quite a juicy, medium-bodied Rioja with fresh and extremely silky tannins caressing the zesty orange and crunchy red-berry flavors. Nuanced, fluid and effortlessly drinkable. Long and extremely elegant. A vintage that highlights layering and freshness, rather than power and depth. 86% tempranillo, 8% graciano, 4% mazuelo and 2% garnacha. Delicious now, but will hold well.”
Marqués de Murrieta Reserva is a traditional Rioja wine crafted in the classic Murrieta signature style and enjoying all the benefits of modern winemaking philosophy, equipment and techniques. Made from Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano, this wine embodies ripe fruit qualities with a perfect balance of acidity, supple roundness on the palate and a hint of new oak. The Marqués de Murrieta vineyards on the 741-acre Ygay Estate are located in Rioja Alta between 320 meters to 485 meters above sea level.
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.
Tangible proof of elegance, balance and constancy characteristic of the winery and its surrounding vineyards situated in the Ygay estate, this is a red reserva wine with a balanced aging of 21 months in new and partly new American oak barrels and a year and a half in bottle. The result is an elegant wine that combines complexity and fineness, summing up the best attributes of Marqués de Murrieta's identity and actuality.
Grapes are first de-stemmed and then fermented in stainless steel tanks for eight days at controlled temperature in constant skin contact. During fermentation, pumping over and punching down operations are regularly carried out. These processes ensure both effective and gentle color and aroma extraction. Afterwards, the solid parts of the grapes are pressed in vertical presses with double screws.
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.
Pairs beautifully with baked red snapper and grilled vegetables, white wine, apple, lime and rosemary; Cameros truffle with mushrooms, and cabbage with extra-virgin olive oil; Milk-fed lamb chops with buttermilk, asparagus and red wine; Suckling pig confit with its crunchy skin and caramelized apple. Decanting the wine for 20 minutes is recommended. Best enjoyed between 59º- 61ºF.
Varietals: 82% Tempranillo, 9% Graciano, 6% Mazuelo, 2% Garnacha
Wine Alcohol: 14%
Aging: 21 months in 225-liter American oak