We adore the wines from Marques de Murrieta, and after tasting the 2018 last week, we are excited to offer this new vintage. This is an exceptional value from one of the prized vineyards of Rioja. Founded in 1852 by Don Luciano Murrieta, who learned techniques in Bordeaux and applied them to the terroir of Rioja, creating the first wines that were to be exported from Rioja and subsequently was one of the producers that brought popularity to the region. Today the estate is operated by the Cebrián-Sagarriga family, who purchased the winery in 1983 and has continued the legacy of this great address, bridging the gap between tradition and modernity. The wines of Marqués de Murrieta come from the famous vineyards of Ygay, an estate of 300 hectares located in the southern part of Rioja Alta, which is one of the best locations in Rioja, with some of the higher-end wines going for hundreds of dollars in great vintages. Winemaking is led by María Vargas, who takes great pride in these historic vineyards and won best winemaker in the world in 2017.
The Rioja Reserva is one of the staples of this address and combines the traditional aspects of Rioja with excellent refinement and polish at pricing that is hard to believe. A blend of 83% Tempranillo, 9% Graciano, 6% Mazuelo, and 2% Garnacha grapes are destemmed and fermented in stainless steel vats before aging in American oak barrels for 20 months.
This is a serious value and once again proves that Rioja is still one of the best buys for old-world wine. 2018 is a more elegant and fresh vintage and is one that is drinking well not but will continue to show well for another five years or so. We are also sweetening the deal by offering free shipping if you buy six bottles or more.
James Suckling 94 Points! "Savory cured-meat, tobacco and grilled-spice notes to the bright plum, red-date, cherry and green-olive aromas. Quite a juicy, medium-bodied Rioja with fresh and extremely silky tannins caressing the zesty orange and crunchy red-berry flavors. Nuanced, fluid and effortlessly drinkable. Long and extremely elegant. A vintage that highlights layering and freshness, rather than power and depth."
Wine Advocate (Luis Gutierrez) 94 points! "The flagship red 2018 Rioja Reserva was produced with a blend of 86% Tempranillo, 8% Graciano, 4% Mazuelo (a.k.a. Cariñena) and 2% Garnacha selected from their 300 hectares of vineyards that exemplifies the character of the vintage and the place. 2018 was a year with good rain and a cool season that resulted in a late harvest, which started on October 1 and was slow and delivered grapes with good freshness. Each variety and plot fermented separately in stainless steel. and the wines aged separately in American oak barrels for 21 months and then settled in concrete until bottling. It follows the path of the 2016, where I noticed a change that is taken further in this, controlling the power and increasing the freshness. It's very aromatic, a year completely different from the 2017; it has less structure and more freshness and subtler balance and enough oomph, concentration and power neatly compensated by freshness. I believe 2018 was a very good vintage to implement this change. It's perfumed, fresh, elegant and medium-bodied, with a velvety texture. Superb!"
Tim Atkin 94 Points! "The 2108 release is the latest in a line of stylish Reservas from Marqués de Murrieta, all the more impressive when you know that 1.2 million bottles were made. Combining Tempranillo with 8% Graciano, 4% Mazuelo and 2% Garnacha, all of it aged in American oak. Structured, serious and intense, with lots of perfume, racy acidity, wild herb, plum and red berry fruit and a spicy finish."