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. 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.
93% Tempranillo, 4% Mazuelo, 2% Graciano and 1% Garnacha.
Grapes are destemmed and fermented in temperature controlled, stainless steel vats. Aged for 21 months in American oak barrels, at least eight months in new wood, before 24 months bottle ageing prior to release.
Go the Spanish route with lamb, or classical Iberico and Serrano hams and savoury Tapas selections – both meaty and vegetarian such as patatas bravas.