Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial

Spain | 2009

£125 a bottle

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 feel will only get better with a little more bottle age.

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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; their most famous plot is probably the La Plana located at 485 metres and containing some of the oldest vines.

These are always dedicated to the Gran Reserva and in very special years are the bedrock for the fabulous flagship wine Castillo Ygay Especial – such as this! They also specialise in the library release of fantastic long cask aged Gran Reserva white Rioja under the same label – simply the benchmark traditional oaky white style.


Marqués de Murrieta is simply one of Rioja’s greatest Bodegas. The respected wine writer Tim Atkin MW places them amongst his informal “first growth” Rioja category. Founded in 1852 by Luciano Ramón de Murrieta he 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. Today his son Vincente Dalmau runs the estate and continues to build further the established reputation and quality of Murrieta.

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 and temperature and humidity controlled storage cellars. Whilst American oak remains the mainstay for most of the reds produced, French wood is use exclusively for the Capellanía white Rioja. Yields are always below average and strict selection processes ensure quality and style is maintained in the Reserva and Gran Reserva blends.

Grape Variety

81% Tempranillo and 19% Mazuelo.

Tempranillo, named due to its tendency to ripen early, is harvested in the last week of September, the Mazuelo not until mid October. After fermentation the wine is aged for 28 months in oak barrels; the Tempranillo is aged in American oak and the Mazuelo in French. Bottle aged for at least 3 years prior to release.

Food Match

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.

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Full Bodied & Rich Reds

Food Pairing

Beef, Cured Meat, Red Meats, Roast Lamb


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