Gúia Proensa: 95 points and Robertparker.com: 93/94 points.
Established in 1852, Murrieta is one of the oldest and most respected bodegas in Rioja Alta. Their wines are concentrated and long-lived and some, like “Castillo Ygay”, have become legendary amongst wine-lovers. Marqués de Murrieta has not stood back and stagnated however; their 300 hectare estate produces Dalmau – a blend which represents an avant-garde expression of their terroir.
Vineyards: Within the 300 hectare Ygay estate, surrounding the winery in the southern point of Rioja Alta wine area. There is an altitude difference of 165 metres between the lowest point at 320 metres and the highest peak at 485 metres.
Winemaking: Grapes are first de-stemmed and then fermented in temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks for 8 days, with constant skin contact. During fermentation wine is both pumped over the cap of grape skins at the top of the tank (remontage), and also the cap is pressed into the fermenting wine (pigeage). Both these processes ensure a perfect colour and aroma extraction, without producing excessive tannin. Afterwards the solid parts of the grapes are pressed in vertical presses with double screws. This is a smooth and slow treatment that favours the extraction of the colour and tannins that reside in the skin of the grapes. The wine is aged for 18 months in 225 litre American oak barrels.
Vintage Information: 2016 is classified as very good by the consejo. Quality is very good, modest alcohol, full ripeness and ripe well integrated tannins, the best vintage of recent years.
Tasting Note: Flavours of ripe plum, red cherry and berries blend with spicy notes of licorice and sweet balsamic. The wine is silky and well balanced with rounded tannins and refreshing acidity. The long, mineral finish has notes of sweet spice and ripe plum fruit.
Food Pairing: Baked red snapper with grilled vegetables, white wine, apple, lime and rosemary; Cameros truffle with mushrooms, and cabbage with extra virgin olive oil; Milk-fed lamb chops with buttermilk, asparagus and red wine; Suckling pig confit with its crunchy skin and caramelized apple.
Serve at 16º-18º C. Open one hour before serving.
GUÍA PROENSA: 95 points.
JAMES SUCKLING: 94 points.
WINE ADVOCATE(ROBERT PARKER): 93/94 points.
PEÑÍN: 93 points.
GUÍA EL PAÍS: 92 points.
GUÍA GOURMETS: 92 points.