Maqués de Murrieta Wines

Winery Marqués de Murrieta, wines with D.O.Ca. Rioja

There are numerous wineries across Spain steeped in such History that you could write books about them. With over 150 years of history behind it, this is certainly the case for Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta, one of the most emblematic of Spain, which has revolutionised Riojan wine in the modern era and pioneered exports to the Americas while still following the principles of honesty and quality.

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Marqués de Murrieta Reserva 2016

Elegance and smoothness in equal measure

Spain   D.O.Ca. Rioja (La Rioja)

Marqués de Murrieta Reserva...
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Price £20.21
Duty paid
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Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva 2010

The best Spanish wine according to Wine Spectator

Spain   D.O.Ca. Rioja (La Rioja)

Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva...
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Price £177.96
Duty paid
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More about Marqués de Murrieta

The history of Marqués de Murrieta traces back nearly 200 years, when Luciano Francisco Ramón Murrieta García Ortiz Lemoine, born to a Basque father and Bolivian mother, moved to England in 1824 following Peruvian independence and the Battle of Ayachuco. In England the Murrieta family dedicated themselves to banking, with Luciano de Murrieta growing up under the influence of the military discipline of his uncle, General Rivero, who too worked in a bank and whose influence inspired Luciano to enlist in the army on his return to Spain. Luciano was named a Commander then personal assistant to General Espartero in 1840, who conducted a military campaign during the Carlista wars, until falling to the Regency of Isabel II. He accompanied the general in his London exile and then with coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Luciano de Murrieta returned to Spain.

Upon returning to Spain, Luciano left behind his military career. Given his friendship with Espartero and his arranged marriage to the daughter of a distinguished and wealthy Riojan family, he settled down in Logroño. Here, he is where he began his journey into the world of wine, with the general Espartero giving him some land, as well as access to his winery.

Soon Luciano proved his ability to improve the quality of Espartero’s (Duque de la Victoria) wines, winning international awards. As France suffered a considerable drop in production due to the spread of dieses across French territory, Luciano travelled to Bordeaux where he learned the latest techniques and knowledge of viticulture, and above all, how to produce low alcohol wines that could travel without spoiling. At the time, Luciano was fully aware of the potential of Riojan wines, and decided to export the first Riojan wines to Mexico and Cuba: 100 barrels of 72 litres. The wine arrived in Cuba with no issue, and was better received than anyone could have expected. In Mexico, however, the vessel was destroyed in a storm on route to the port of Vercruz, losing all cargo that was on board.

History of the Winery

On Espartero`s death, Luciano began to lay the foundations of his own winery, acquiring some land in 1852 on the farm known as the Ygay estate, located a few kilometers from La Rioja capital. He cultivated vineyards, cereals and olives, always with the aim of obtaining a high quality products and quality Riojan wines. It was here that Luciano built the emblematic Castillo de Ygay, faithfully following the concept of a Bordeux Châteu. The King of Spain, Amadeo of Savoy, gave him the title of Marqués de Murrieta as recognition for his work.

His success was soon cemented in Europe, when in 1878 and 1879 his wines won one gold and two silver medals at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. Luciano continued producing until his death in 1911. With no direct descendants it was his nephew, Julian de Olivares, who took charge of the winery until 1983 when the Olivares family sold the property to the Vicente Cebrián Sagarriga, tenth Count of Creixell, a title awarded for participating in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212. 

Today, his children, Vicente Dalmau Cebrián-Sagarriaga and his sister Cristina, run the family project undertaken by their father and launched over a century and a half ago by Luciano de Murrieta.

At present, and after undergoing an ambitious restoration project that has lasted more than nine years, Castillo de Ygay stands as the perfect balance between respect for the past and the promise of the future. Castillo de Ygay, four thousand square meters of stone castle, houses within it a valuable documentation of the origins of Marqués de Murrieta, as well as one of the largest private collections of historical bottles of the world. Not surprisingly, Marqués de Murrieta has been chosen among the best wineries in the world by Wine Spectator, as well as being selected as the Best Winery in the World in the Best Of 2015 awards.

Work Philosophy

The uniqueness and quality of the Marqués de Murrieta wines is determined, to a great extent, by the singular caracter of the Ygay Estate. 300 hectares of own vineyards located around the winery, at altitudes varying between between 320-485 metres, which allow the absolute control of the raw material. Located in the south of Rioja Alta, it enjoys a privileged continental climate tempered in the north by the Sierra de Cantabria Mountains. The grape varieties cultivated are five reds (tempranillo, garnacha, mazuelo, graciano and cabernet sauvignon) and the white viura.

The harvest is always carried out manually, with the grapes are taken to the winery in small trailers where vinification can take place. Las variedades fermentan por separado en depósitos de acero inoxidable, con control de temperatura. The different grape varieties ferment separately in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures and are then incubated for 8-11 days, depending on the vintage and variety, during which are over-pumping and plunging take place, encouraging the contact of the must with the skins to help encourage cause a slow and natural extraction of aromas and polyphenols. After fermentation, the solid parts of the grape are pressed in vertical presses, with a gentle and slow process that favours extraction of colour and tannins that reside in the skin. To keep the style of its wines, the barrels used for aging are mostly American oak and French oak, and only a small percentage of the barrels are renewed each year.

The winery holds the great importance of the design and upkeep of the vineyard, where they carry out some of the most advanced wine making techniques, quality control, and constant research. Marqués de Murrieta only makes wines from their own vineyards, whose secret lies in adapting every process of growing and winemaking to the characteristics of each plot and variety and, in turn, make the wise integration of all of them to achieve harmonious wines that reflect the genuine hallmark of the house.

Marqués de Murrieta wines

The range of wines offered by Marqués de Murrieta is relatively small and precise.

The wineries most emblematic wine is perhaps Castillo de Ygay Gran Reserva, dressed in its centennial label and made exclusively using excellent vintages. This wine is a blend of two different grape varieties: Tempranillo (86%) and Mazuelo (14%), both taken from a plot called La Plana, located 485m above sea level and is the highest part of the estate. The Tempranillo grapes spend 28 months in American oak barrels of 225 litres, while the Mazuelo spends 29 months in French oak. Before the wine is bottled and finally blended, it spends another 6 months in concrete tanks. Finally, the wine is refined in the bottle for a minimum of three years. It is a wine that is best when given a little time in the glass before consumption. Awake gently warns pure pitch a fruit licorada well merged with the wood appears. The palate is captivating, with a volatile balsamic flavour that is savoury from start to finish.

Marques de Murrieta Reserva is the largest wine cellar projection. It is made with 93% Tempranillo, Mazuelo 4%, 2% and 1% Graciano Garnacha, although the percentages vary depending on the vintage. Is aged 21 months in American oak barrels of 225 liters capacity, of which 8 months in new oak barrels passes and ends with a round of 24 months in bottle.

One of its latest additions to the catalog was Dalmau Reserva, a wine that is intended to represent an upper middle-modern vision of wine cellar.The is limited edition wine as payment comes Canajas, a century - old vineyard located in the part of the farm, cultivated in a clay-calcareous soil with great presence of boulders on the surface. The Tempranillo fermented in small stainless steel vats and Graciano and Cabernet Sauvignon in a small tino oak and is aged 19 months in new French oak barrels of Allier, with explosion of aromas of wild fruits, black chocolate and mineral notes, elegant creamy toasted conjoined with its passage by the French oak. An elegant wine and out of the ordinary extraordinarily impressive in every way, full-bodied and very harmonious, with a magnificent balance that makes a powerful wine.

His latest creation is the white Capellanía Reserva, made ​​with grapes from the estate of the same name in which there is growing strains Viura over 70 years of age, and aged de17 months in 225 liter barrels of new French oak. Toasty aromas, honey, wax, syrups, toasted almond. Juicy, enveloping, with a structure and an acidic vein prophesying a future full of pleasant surprises. It is certainly a great white wine that offers great depth and has a high capacity to thrill, but also has the ability to transform over time into a seductive and rare complexity; prerequisite of every great wine.

Situation of Marqués de Murrieta