On the southern limit of the Rioja Alta, just a few kilometres from Logroño, on the Ygay Estate we find a unique and privileged winery. It is built in the middle of 300 hectares of its own vineyards, guaranteeing complete control over the grapes. Within the Ygay estate all the traditional grape varieties are still grown; Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo, Garnacha and Viura. The vineyards are divided into many subplots including single vineyards; ‘Capellanía’ planted with Viura (from 2004 vintage aged in 100% French oak), ‘Canajas’ which contains old vine Cabernet Sauvignon, and up on ‘La Plana’, at 500 metres above sea level, we find the source of the Gran Reserva Castillo Ygay. There is also a small estate in Galícia, from where Vicente Dalmau’s family originates, which produces a top quality Albariño named Pazo Barrantes.
Established in 1852 by Luciano Francisco Ramón de Murrieta, the historic bodega Marques de Murrieta Winery was the first of the famous Rioja houses to be established and is still in existence today. As the original visionary and pioneer of the Rioja region, Luciano was made Marqués de Murrieta by Queen Isabel II. After the death of the Marqués in 1911, the bodega was taken over by the Olivares family and then in 1983 by D. Vicente Cebrián-Sagarriga, Count of Creixell. The new owner’s aim was to establish Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta among the best wineries in the world. His sudden death in 1996 left the vision only partly fulfilled. The baton was passed on to his son Vicente Dalmau who proceeded to revolutionise the entire estate, investing significantly in the vineyards and winery to take Bodega Marques de Murrieta Winery into the 21st century. The emphasis remains very much quality focused, with low yields in the vineyard and limited production in the wineryand the result is truly hand-made, world class wines from the oldest family owned estate in Rioja.
Tradition and modernity appear side by side with the presence of two old vertical wooden presses alongside stainless steel tanks, an automatic ‘pigeage’ machine and a state-of-the-art bottling line. The aim of the winery team is to preserve the traditional characteristics that are associated with Marques de Murrieta Winery, whilst using modern techniques to enhance quality, fruit and aromatics. New 225 litre, mainly American oak barrels are purchased every year to supplement the very old barrels in which the Castillo Ygay is aged. The deliberate balance of old and new technologies ensures a unique style and quality for all the wines.
2001, Castillo Ygay Tinto. A wine the Marques calls “the first vintage of the new era.” Purple in colour with a ruby rim, it presents a slightly roasted character along with plum and liqueur-like aromas. On the palate balsamic and other savoury notes make an appearance along with plenty of succulent black fruit. It has outstanding depth, concentration, and balance and should have a 30 year lifespan”. The wine received 92 Points from Robert Parker in June 2010.
Marques de Murrieta Winery
Castillo de Ygay
Tel: +34 941 271 370
Fax: +34 941 251 606