Why not try one or more of these four Riojas from Marqués de Murrieta, one of Rioja’s greatest estates

“The respected wine writer Tim Atkin MW places these wines amongst his informal “first growth” Rioja category. On a personal level, I have tasted Murrieta for over 30 years and its level of quality and consistency has been remarkable, led by their flagship wine Ygay”
Nick Adams MW

In 1852 Luciano Ramón de Murrieta was a founding father for the Rioja region as a whole and was made a “Marqués” in recognition of his service and achievements. In 1983 the estate was taken over by Vincente Cebrián-Sagarriga – Count of Creixell – and today his son Vincente Dalmau runs the estate and continues to build further the established reputation and quality of Murrieta.
Based in Rioja Alta – in the famous Ygay estate – 300 hectares are planted with the dominant variety being Tempranillo. However, the estate also believes that great Rioja requires judicious use of other plantings such as Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha – along with Viura for the production of white Rioja.  Many single celebrated vineyards are found within the estate – such as the Capellanía Viura plot, for their outstanding oak aged, white Rioja. Their most famous plot is probably the La Plana which has some of the oldest vines which are always dedicated to the Gran Reserva and in very special years are the bedrock for the fabulous flagship wine Castillo Ygay Especial.  Head winemaker is Maria Vargas and the modern approach is to combine the best of tradition with new practices and equipment, such as a new gravity fed, integrated winery process, with temperature and humidity controlled storage cellars.
Castillo_Ygay_Gran_Reserva_Especial2007 Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial
Murrieta’s flagship single vineyard cuvée – a majestic wine and one of Rioja’s finest. Deep, rich and very concentrated with a mêlée of red and black fruit, gentle spice and lilting vanilla oak. Wonderful texture, intensity and balance.  Just entering its drinking window now and will only get better with each passing year.
Perfect with lamb, or classical Spanish hams and savoury Tapas selections. Would also work with a fine cut of beef (steak). Do decant at least 2 hours before drinking
£75 per bottle
Marques_de_Murrieta_Gran_Reserva2007 Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Gran Reserva
A brooding, dark wine with intense vanilla and darker fruit flavours – a little tight right now but opens up with time and aeration. Notes of chocolate and black plum emerge all wrapped up in a grainy tannic frame. Long and poised – this is polished and refined.
Perfect with lamb, or classical Spanish hams and savoury Tapas selections.  It would also work with a fine cut of beef (steak). Do decant at least 2 hours before drinking.
£29 per bottle
Marques_de_Murrieta_Reserva2010 Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Reserva
A restrained and classically cut Reserva Rioja, with balanced vanilla oak; bold savoury herbal and preserved strawberry and cherry fruit flavours. Medium bodied, really quite silky and finely structured.
Go the Spanish route with lamb, or classical Iberico and Serrano hams and savoury Tapas selections – both meaty and vegetarian such as patatas bravas.
£20 per bottle
Rioja_Blanco_Capellania_Murrieta2010 Marqués de Murrieta Blanco Rioja Reserva “Capellania”
A modern take on a classic white Rioja style. Smoky, nutty nose and palate with bold vanilla oak flavours and dried stone fruit character. For all the oak power there is superb balance and texture, with a vein of fine acidity and long almond finish. Really develops in the mouth.
A real food white wine. Perfect with paella, also smoked fish, white meats and Asian style cooking. Very good with mature white cheeses such as ewe’s milk, also asparagus and hollandaise sauce.
£19.50 per bottle