Marques de Murrieta
Bodegas that bears his name, but is also considered to be the founder of the modern wine trade in the Rioja. Luciano Murrieta was born in 1822 in what was then the Spanish province of Peru. After the independence of Peru, he ended up in London. Here he marveled at the popularity of Bordeaux wines and was inspired by this style of winemaking, where the wines matured in wooden casks for a period of time. In 1852 he exported his first wines and was so successful that other vintners followed his techniques.
Today Marquès de Murrieta is the oldest active wine company in the Rioja. In 1983, the company was acquired by Duke of Creixell, Vincente Cebrián. This preserves the family element of the wine company. After his sudden death in 1996, his children led by Vicente jr took the helm and continued their father's perfectionism.
Vicente (2nd call sign Dalmau) was born in 1970. He spends his youth alternately in Madrid and Galicia, where he spends summers in Pazo Barrantes, the winery that has been owned by his family since the 16th century. His roots and the good times he spent in Galicia have forever given this area a special place in his heart.
After his studies in Madrid, he continued his education in the USA and after returning to Spain he completed his university education (Economics, Business & Law degrees). From that moment on, Vincente will fully focus on his father's company, of which he will lead after his unexpected death in 1996. In the years that followed, he and his sister Cristina revolutionized the bodega in a revolutionary way and the quality of the wines reached very high heights: they are now among the best in the world. The Cebrian-Sagarriga Suarez Llanos family owns two wineries; Marqués de Murrieta (Rioja DOCa) and Pazo de Barrantes (Rías Baixas DO).
The bodega has about 300 hectares of vineyards, and grows grapes such as tempranillo, garnacha, graciano and mazuelo for the red wines, and viura for the white wine. Of course, everything revolves around the highest quality. Tradition also plays a major role: Marqués de Murrieta makes classic Rioja. Tradition, however, is not the same as standstill, because, as Vicente Dalmau's father put it, you must constantly change everything so that everything can remain the same. That's exactly what happens. For example, the family had the old company building demolished and almost exactly the same rebuilt, but with the most modern gadgets. And that is also how she works on the wines: they are getting better, but never lose their identity.
All the vineyards of Finca Ygay (Marqués de Murrieta), together about 300 ha, are located at the bodega and are owned by the family. The now completely renovated Castillo Ygay is the headquarters of Marqués de Murrieta. Finca Ygay has significant differences in soil. The height of the vineyards varies from 300 to 500 m and the area falls under Rioja Alta. These differences in soil conditions give Murrieta the opportunity to produce varied wines.
The relatively cool location makes this area ideal for the production of the most refined wines. The largest vineyard: Valsalado produces the grapes for the Murrieta Reserva. The highest part of the domain is called La Plana. The grapes from this area (Tempranillo and Mazuelo), from old vines on loam, form the basis for the world-famous Gran Reserva Especial Castillo Ygay (which is made only in good years) and the excellent white wine Capellania. This wine, aged for 15 months in French oak; a Burgundian-looking wine, but also a beautiful and modern white Rioja. The somewhat lower Las Canajas vineyard, where Cabernet Sauvignon was planted in the 1980s, has a pebble and calcareous clay soil. Since 1994, the grapes from this area have been the basis for Dalmau, the "modern" Murrieta, named after Vicente Dalmau jr., One of the current owners.
Very rare is the rare white Castillo Ygay from 1986 (100 Parker points!), But still very vital! This wine is an assembly of Viura and Malvasia.
The oenologist Maria Vargas, originally from Argentina, has been responsible for the winery's wines since 1995. A winged statement of her is that oak wood in a wine is like a woman's perfume, it should never predominate. She subtly uses American oak from Pennsylvania and Ohio. Tempranillo is the main blue grape, with smaller quantities of Graciano, Garnacha and Carinena and Marqués de Murrieta is one of the few Bodegas in Rioja to use Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the preparation of their wines. Viura and a very small amount of Malvasia is mainly cultivated as a white grape.
Click here for a nice video report of this famous house
Pazo de Barrantes Estate is located in the Rías Baixas region, above Portugal, and covers 12ha. vineyards (grape: Albariño) around the house Pazo Barrantes, which has been owned by the family since 1511.
It is located in a sub-region with the most influence from the Atlantic Ocean, which is reflected in the superior quality of this wine.
Pazo Barrantes, made from 100% Albariño grapes, has not undergone wood maturation. The influences of the Atlantic Ocean are clearly reflected in this wine.