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The wines of Marques de Murrieta, Rioja, Spain

Website: www.marquesdemurrieta.com
UK agent: MMD

Murrieta may be best known as a traditional Rioja bodega, but this doesn’t stop them making excellent wines. They’ve added another high end Rioja in a more modern mould, the Dalmau, which spends less time in oak, and new French oak for that matter. It’s a darker, more flashy, international-styled wines that has an immediate impact, but I prefer the charms of their classic, more thought provoking Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva, which ages fantastically. The good news is, with 300 hectares of vineyards, there’s a reasonable amount of wine made here.

Marques de Murrieta Pazo de Barrantes 2004 Rias Baixas
This white is fresh, herby and full with bright lemon-tinged fruit. Quite savoury, but fresh and food friendly. Nice stuff for drinking now. Very good+ 89/100 (£14)

Marques de Murrieta ‘Capellanía’ Reserva Branco 2000 Rioja
Murrieta’s single-vineyardwhite Rioja is remarkable stuff that isn’t to everyone’s taste. Fresh lemony nose with lots of vanilla oak. Tight-knit, bold and spicy. The palate is rich, savoury, spicy and full. It’s a distinctive wine that needs time.  Very good/excellent 91/100 (£10.50)

Marques de Murrieta Tinto Reserva 2001 Rioja
Nice chunky, savoury, spicy red fruits here. Quite fruity with some backbone from the savoury, spicy oak. Finishes spicy and quite structured. Nice stuff, but again this needs some time. Very good+ 89/100 (£14.50)

Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva 1998 Rioja
Spent 41 months in oak. Complex yet still tight spicy, earthy, perfumed casky nose. The palate is soft, bold, complex and spicy with a nice savoury edge. It’s a really expressive wine. Delicious. Very good/excellent 92/100

Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Historic Release 1978 Rioja
Bottled in 1998, this spent 212 months in oak. Still quite a vivid colour. Smooth, complex, elegant nose is a but understated, with herbs, mushrooms, undergrowth and some fruit. The palate is complex and quite rich with sweet, smooth, vivid fruit and great length. This is really fantastic: not powerful, but lovely, with some future ahead of it. Very good/excellent 94/100 (£80)

Marques de Murrieta Dalmau 2001 Rioja
Now for something rather different. This spends a year in all-new French oak, and there’s 10% Cabernet added for good measure. It’s an attempt at modern Rioja. The nose shows bold, intense, liqueur-like black fruits with some sweet oak. The palate is concentrated and full; lush and ripe; with intense fruit and smooth but firm tannins. Delicious in a bit of an international style. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£48)

Wines tasted 04/06
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

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