2011 Marqués de Murrieta Reserva Rioja
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I had two vintages to taste of the same wine, which always makes for an interesting comparison. The 2011 Rioja Reserva, their volume red, is a blend of 89% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo, 4% Graciano and 2% Garnacha Tinta from a diversity of plots in the Ygay Estate. The different varieties fermented separately in stainless steel vats. It matured in 225-liter American oak barrels for some 20 months, at least during eight months in new oak. The wine very clearly shows much riper fruit than the 2012; it is great to see the wine reflecting the much warmer conditions of the harvest. It has a classical profile with an important role of the American oak. The palate is polished and sleek, with very fine tannins and a long finish.
One of the two oldest Rioja bodegas, with a history dating back to the mid-19th century, Marques de Murrieta is not resting on its laurels. Rather, they continue to produce excellent wines, big hits with their customers and critics alike. They are fully self sufficient in grapes, taking advantage their large, contiguous vineyard just outside of Logrono, which boasts plenty of old vines, a variety of terroir from chalky clay to very stony parcels, and a climate that particularly favors not only Tempranillo but some of the region's finest Mazuelo.