2007 Marques de Murrieta "Castillo Ygay" Gran Reserva Especial Rioja

SKU #1241823 98 points James Suckling

 The aromas of this show an amazing freshness of flowers and herbs such as lavender, rosemary, and violet. Then it goes to raspberry, candy and currants. Black licorice too. A truly great wine on the nose. Full-bodied, racy and linear. So polished. It's like a red ruby. 86% tempranillo and 14% mazuelo in the blend. For release in September 2015. Great length and future. Give it three years or so. Or decant two hours in advance.

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A worthy follow-up of the 2005, the 2007 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial will be released in late 2015. This is a cuvée of mostly Tempranillo with the balance of Mazuelo (Cariñena), a very important grape for Castillo de Ygay in percentages that vary depending on the vintage, and it's almost 15% in 2007. 2007 was not an easy vintage and in Ygay they had a terrible mildew attack and they lost 50% of the bunches. It's a cold, rainy year, but because of that circumstance the wine is concentrated. This is still a baby, long and with depth and tannins that should melt in a couple of years. Compared with the 2005 it is fresher, perhaps not as concentrated, but for me the extra freshness compensates and puts it at a very similar quality level. And the rule of thumb is to wait at least ten years after the harvest to start uncorking any Castillo de Ygay. Cheap it is not, but very good value it is, for the quality it delivers. (LG) 95+ Points

K&L Notes

Marques de Murrieta was one of the two oldest, historical bodegas to put Rioja on the map in the mid-19th century (the other one was Marqués de Riscal). It is also an estate wine with fruit coming from various parcels on their property just outside of Logroño. This gran reserva is marked by a healthy proportion of Mazuelo (around 7%) which thrives in this slightly warmer, drier area just outside of Logroño. Always a fantastic wine, truly one of the great Gran Reservas, it reaches a whole new level in this 2007 vintage, a year which was rather damp and cool in much of Rioja Alta, but just about perfect down river by the Ygay property.

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Price: $69.99

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By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/24/2016 | Send Email
A composition of 86/14 Tempranillo/Mazuelo, this young Rioja has a long life ahead of it. Don't get me wrong, the wine is showing exquisitely well already, but your patience will pay off if you can keep your hands off of it for another 5-8 years. It's woody, spicy and deliciously dark fruited. This wine has a delightfully youthful nose of coconut meat, vanilla, dark berries and black currant. A great wine that will only get better.

By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/24/2016 | Send Email
This starts out with complex aromas of cedar, tar, earth, leather and spice. The mid-palate is dark and concentrated with layers of smoky black cherry and jammy raspberry fruit. This thick, lively and fresh wine is still a baby and though already delicious will be much better in 5 years.

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/24/2016 | Send Email
I always have a soft spot for this wine. The first Rioja that I ever purchased to put into my cellar was the 1989. The '07 is my favorite release since the '94. What makes this wine stand out for me is the balance, on every level. The aromatics carry fruit, spice, something floral and the right amount of oak. This is not as powerfully built as some of the more recent releases, it dances on the palate with fresh dark and sour red fruits gliding over polished tannins and playing with integrated oak spice and plenty of earth. The finish just goes and goes. Drink it tonight but put a couple of bottles away, I'll be checking in with this wine again in about 10 years.

By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/24/2016 | Send Email
Such beautifully composed wine, every facet fits perfectly in place to create a beautiful wine. Up front notes of cassis and wild cherry, coupled with damp earth and a kiss of oak richness. Giving way to a palate that strikes in impeccable balance between fruit and structure. A Supple but firm tannic structure gives the perfect frame work for fruit that is weighty without being sappy. The wood is seamlessly integrated into the wine, practically effortless. For those of you who are familiar with our direct imports, this wine fits right between the more rustic Lesmos and the more modern Merino wines.

By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/24/2016 | Send Email
Elegant and refined, this Gran Reserva is like a cross between juicy modern and rustic traditional styles of Rioja, which is unusual for a normally more flashy Murrieta. Crunchy red plum, dried cherry, cassis and spice, with very nicely integrating oak- this wine is juuuuuust thinking about starting to develop the classic leathery, savory character of Gran Reserva Rioja. If you are looking for a way to explore the wines of Spain, but are not quite sure where to start, this wine would be a great buy!

By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/21/2016 | Send Email
Delicate floral nose with surprisingly bright cherry through the palate and bigger berry fruit on the finish, 2007 Ygay presents a more linear style for the typically fruit-driven Murrieta. There’s the oak and licorice that you’d expect from a Gran Reserva, but this is a leaner offering due to the colder, rainy vintage, an aspect that I think actually serves Tempranillo well. Castillo Ygay is beautifully smooth and only gets better with air.

Additional Information:



- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.