Established in 1852, Murrieta are one of the oldest and most respected bodegas of Rioja. Their wines are made in a "classic" Rioja style and receive long ageing in barrel before release. Their wines are concentrated and long-lived, both red and white, and some - like the Gran Reserva "Castillo Ygay" - have become legendary amongst Rioja-lovers. Marqués de Murrieta have not stood back and stagnated however: Their 300 hectare estate now has Cabernet Sauvignon planted for their Dalmau blend which represents Murrieta’s avante-garde expression of Riojan terroir. The 1998 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva is a blend of 85% Tempranillo, 2% Garnacha and 13% Mazuelo and is aged 41 months in 225L American oak cask. Bright tawny red in color, with an open nose of rich spice and fruit, balanced by firm, subtle oak. The palate begins with an intense explosion of ripe fruit, becoming increasingly serious with hints of mushrooms and nuts, balanced by fresh acidity and soft tannins. Try with red meats and game, but also cured ham and strong cheeses. "Dark red. Alluring aromas of redcurrant, cherry, cigar box, licorice and underbrush, with a light touch of vanilla. A silky midweight with expansive red fruit and musky herb flavors framed and supported by bright acidity and dusty tannins. Finishes suave and sweet, with excellent breadth and persistence. This has the balance to cellar but is utterly delicious now." 91 points, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar 2007.