Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha, Mazuelo
75cl * 14% ABV * Rioja, Spain
Don Luciano de Murrieta was one of the founding fathers of Rioja, bringing techniques he'd learned in Bordeaux to the Castillo Ygay estate back in 1852. And his first vintages were huge successes, with the wines being exported as far afield as Cuba and Mexico - the first Rioja ever to do so.
Grapes for this Reserva are sourced from the Ygay Estate, which is 300 hectares of vineyards surrounding the winery (which is now also a museum dedicated to Don Luciano and his pioneering ways) in the southernmost area of Rioja Alta. The altitude ranges from 320 to 485 meters. The grapes are fermented in stainless-steel vats before ageing for six months in massive 225lt American oak barrels.
A happy partner to red meats and cured ham, as well as grilled fish with rich sauces. Serve at about 13C.
Drinking Window: Now - 2040
"I reported on the current release, the 2001 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, previously but underrated it slightly. This cuvee is sourced from a single plot called La Plana planted at over 1500 feet of elevation. It is made up of 93% Tempranillo and 7% Mazuelo chosen for its acidity. The wine is aged for 10 months in new American oak followed by 21 months in seasoned oak. It is then held in bottle for 3-4 years prior to release. Deeply colored, spicy, elegant and complex, the wine has great volume and grip as well as exceptional length. It can be approached now but will easily have a 30 year lifespan." 94/100 Points, Jay Miller, RobertParker.com (May 2011)