Marqués de Murrieta 2011 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial
Wine Enthusiast 97 Points: "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."
Robert Parker 97 Points: "The 2011 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial was produced with a blend of 84% Tempranillo and 16% Mazuelo (Cariñena) from a plot called La Plana that was planted in 1950 at 485 meters in altitude, the highest in the Ygay property. The grapes were picked between September 17 and 22, and the Mazuelo was later, on September 28. The bunches were destemmed and lightly crushed and put to ferment in stainless steel for 11 days with constant pump-overs and punch-downs. The Tempranillo matured for 28 months in American oak barrels and the Mazuelo for 28 months in French barriques. It's 14% alcohol and has a pH of 3.65 with 5.6 grams of acidity (measured in tartaric acid per liter). It's very tough to follow a vintage like 2010, and 2011 was not an easy year; the wine is possibly more powerful and concentrated but keeping the freshness, with a longer élevage but very young and lively, with an elegant texture and mouthfeel, great balance and elegance. The wine feels lively, and it seems impossible that it has been in bottle for over six years. It has the classical profile with the effect of the American oak barrels, cigar box, cedar wood, sweet spices—aromatic, intoxicating, complex. This should age very slowly and for a very long time. 131,668 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2016. No 2013, 2014 or 2015 will be produced. They have a 2012, and they will jump from that to 2016. The 2012 will be released in late 2023 or early 2024 and the 2016 in 2027 or 2028. Finger crossed...
Marqués de Murrieta is one of the most classical names in Rioja, and they have managed to keep the classical style of the wines but are also completely relevant and up to date with what is happening in the world today. All of their wines come from their own vineyards, which sets them apart from the majority of classical wineries that didn't use to have any vineyards. So, it's a château style winery, a domaine, not a négoce and a small- to medium-size winery. All of the wines are numbered, and they produce a total of a little more than one million bottles. They keep faithful to the use of mostly American oak barrels for their wines, and the aim is for elegance and freshness. The first vintage in the new winery was 2018, but they only open the winery to the public now. So, the wines from 2018, 2019 and 2020 that I tasted are the first ones that fermented in the new winery. They have finished building their new winery, where they now have plenty of room to work as they have a lot of wines aging in the winery, both in barrel and in bottle. Fermentation will change, and they have introduced concrete for Capellanía and oak vats for the top-of-the-range in reds. In 2022, they celebrate their 175th anniversary. Many congratulations!"