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2009 Marqués de Murrieta "Castillo Ygay" Gran Reserva Especial Rioja

SKU #1401303 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Marqués de Murrieta didn't produce their top red in 2008, so I tasted the 2009 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial. In 2009, the final blend was Tempranillo with 19% Mazuelo (or Cariñena), one of the highest percentages of Mazuelo ever. The grapes are now sourced from the La Plana vineyard within the Ygay estate, one of the higher-altitude plots at 485 meters. The grapes fermented and aged separately, the Tempranillo in American oak barrels and the Mazuelo in French barriques for 26 months, given its power. It has that seriousness, character and somehow rusticity of the Mazuelo, austere, harmonious and still young. It has good depth and concentration, still young and lively with fine tannins and a backbone of freshness that lifts it up. It will develop for a very long time in bottle. This is a great classical Rioja for the long haul. 109,000 bottles and some larger formats were produced. It was bottled in October 2014. The prices are increasing but so is the quality. The following vintages will be 2010, 2011 and possibly 2012. I cannot wait to taste them...(LG)  (2/2018)

95 points Decanter

 2009 was a warm year, a good vintage to increase the Mazuelo component (up to 19%) in order to ensure balancing acidity next to the rich dark fruit. This has been successfully rendered, the tannins hitherto tight and fairly chalky, but the structure warm and embracing. Cassis and blackberry dominate the fruit profile, then black pepper, cloves and even a hint of cinnamon providing a spicy backdrop. The finish is powerful but does not want for elegance. (SF)  (11/2019)

95 points James Suckling

 A special Rioja that’s traditional, but not old-fashioned. Dusty, licorice and spice nose with red fruit. A cool and elegant wine, in spite of the concentration. Long, firm finish. Expands with aeration. From vines planted in 1945. Drink or hold.  (12/2018)

95 points Wine & Spirits

 The vines on the La Plana plateau, the highest point of the estate, at 1,600 feet in elevation, were 60 years old when faced with the heat of the 2009 vintage. The majority of this wine is Tempranillo, harvested at the end of September; 19% of the blend is Mazuelo (Carignan), harvested a week later. The wine has the richness of the vintage while the fruit holds its freshness, with tart plum and strawberry notes helping to shape all the flavor concentration. It’s a fat wine with attitude, packing dense tannins that last for minutes and need a decade or more to be fully absorbed into the fruit. It’s supple, heady and delicious now, and significantly more complex with several days of air, as it will be with years of age.  (12/2018)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Black cherry, plum, clove, cocoa and mineral flavors are rich and harmonious in this polished red. Well-integrated tannins and balsamic acidity keep this balanced. Shows focus and depth, but remains very fresh. Tempranillo and Mazuelo. (TM)  (9/2018)

Jancis Robinson

 Garnet without being tawny yet. Everything is integrated and very well done, so it clearly has a long life ahead. It holds the fruit intensity. Very promising. Its fine texture is great, with complexity and forest-floor sensations. Polished tannins over layers of fruit. It is young for a 10-year-old! It has not yet developed any tertiary notes. Amazing potential. I am moved by it! (FC) 19/20 points  (8/2019)

K&L Notes

Marqués 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, Castillo Ygay´s 2009 is widely considered to be amongst the best of a very good vintage.


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Price: $89.99
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By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/9/2020 | Send Email
One of the true greats, and for the best of reasons, Ygay is the type of wine that creates obsessives and inspires mythologies. Balances the tough act of bringing out the best in classic Rioja and embracing the modern stylings of the region. Cinnamon and toast and oak and Spanish moss and vanilla and clove all rush out of the glass aromatically, prefacing the incredible buttered bread, creme and soft dust wrapped around the red fruit on the palate. World Class winemaking is obvious in the firm but open structure that fleshes out near the finish seemingly to emphasize the quality in the glass. Drink now, drink later, drink with food or by itself - Just Drink

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