Marques de Murrieta's Castillo Ygay
From the southern side of Rioja Alta, this is a blend of 89% Tempranillo & 11% Mazuelo in the 2007 vintage. An iconic wine; produced in only the best vintages of their single vineyard. The Tempranillo is aged in French oak, the Mazuelo in American for 30 months, after being fermented in stainless steel vats for 11 days. The wine is medium-bodied & elegant, with potential for significant aging & in-bottle development. It has a distinct satin mouth-feel with a long finish, fruity intensity & perfect balance. Violet and meaty notes, with truffles and a spiced touch. The estate consists of a 300-hectare vineyard in operation since the mid-19th century & renown for its Gran Reserva's.
Made from 100% Tempranillo, produced by Benjamin Rothschild & Vega Sicilia. Aged 14 months in the finest new French oak & another 2 years in bottle. It is intensely aromatic, medium-bodied with good acidity, grainy tannins and real depth of complexity. It's a wine with subtle, ripe black fruit & a slight, pleasant bitterness. The quality of the winemaking, fruit used & it's acidic backbone make for a wine that is intentionally produced for long aging.
Escondite del Ardacho Tentenublo
Grown at 450 meters in altitude and highly influenced by the Mediterranean making for a soft, gentle microclimate which shows in the wine. Hand harvested from 65-year-old vines planted in a single-vineyard with clay & gravel soils. They are spontaneously fermented in oak vats, aged in French barrels and Hungarian oak for 10-11 months and show potential for aging. The 2014 Escondite Ardacho Guillermas is pronounced aromatically, with a citrus character which is rarely found in a red wine. It's vibrant on the palate, medium-bodied with intense acidity, expressiveness & persistence. Supple & fresh, with tangy grapefruit flavors & red berry notes, chocolate & coffee. The winery is young, located at a fairly high altitude in the Rioja Alavesa at the foot of the Sierra Cantabria mountains. Their wines are pure, angular & honestly expressive.
López de Heredia is an institution & Viña Tondonia is a timeless classic. Fermented in oak vats with natural yeasts & aged a minimum of six years in neutral oak before being bottled unfiltered it is an expressive wine even in its youth. It unfolds aromatically, showing dried dark fruit; plums and prune aromas with notes of red berries and earth, cigar & spice. The 2004 vintage is medium-bodied & elegant; soft on the palate with a lingering finish, long layers of rich red fruit flavors. It has firm tannins & focused acidity with a spicy, long finish. The estate is located in the village of Haro along the Ebro river in the Rioja Alta, one of the more esteemed growing areas in the country. The wines are made from estate-owned fruit, are fermented with native yeasts & are aged in barrels made by their own cooperage. López de Heredia is family-owned & produces wines in the tradition that they always have, for over a hundred years.
Bodega Muga's Gran Reserva is a traditional Rioja blend, aged three years in oak. It's produced from a selection of fruit from cooler vineyards with clay-rich soils. An aromatically expressive wine with spicy cinnamon, clove, and black peppercorn scents- it has a typical Rioja bouquet of subtle tobacco & tea leaf notes from oak aging. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied with ripe fruit like black currant, good acidity throughout with a persistent finish. The bodega is located in Haro, is one of the oldest in the region & one of the few with its own cooperage. This wine is only produced in the best vintages.