Why Buy: Four superbly-realized, high scoring expressions (98 points, 98 points, 97 points, 95 points) from one of the greatest wine-making families in all of Spain, Marqués de Murrieta. As one of the bodegas that drove Rioja onto the world stage, it's little surprise that the three Riojas we've assembled for you today, all Reservas, are so absolutely, gorgeously, textbook: modern Rioja at its refined best. And the Albariño is every bit their equal, with an intensity and depth that many reds can't claim to possess.


What They're Saying: "Multilayered," with "wonderful length and composure," James Suckling raved over the 98-point Rioja Finca Ygay Gran Reserva 2015, which he called "historical Rioja." He was equally enthused about the 98-point Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2011, which he hailed for its "fantastic structure" and "mouthfeel of compacted velvet." Reviewing the Rioja Dalmau Reserva 2019, which he awarded 97 points, he declared it "deep and intense, yet mineral," with a "zesty quality to the fruit" and a "very long" finish. Last but by no means least: the Pazo Barrantes Albariño Rías Baixas Gran Vino 2020. Suckling was over the moon about it, calling it "irresistible" and "exceptional," a "focused, ripe, mineral and intense" wine with every element "integrated."


The Story: Murrieta is the oldest family-owned estate in Rioja — founded in 1852, with a winery that is housed in one of the oldest buildings in Europe, the venerable Ygay Castle -- but don't think that tradition equates to stodginess and hidebound thinking. At least since 1996, when Vicente Dalmau Cebrián-Sagarriga, the son of a count, took over, this has been a rigorously-forward thinking house, with a mission of sparing no expense (and overlooking no potential innovation) to transform Rioja into a world player. Absolutely central to this ambitious vision has been an insistence on low-yields and limited production, along with careful, gentle cellaring to bring the wines to maturity before they are released to the public. It's a path that has required great reserves of patience and not a little money, but the rewards have been immense, with collectors around the world looking to Murietta for some of the most sophisticated and rewarding expressions, not just out of Spain, but out of Europe.


Our Tasting Notes: In our recent tasting, we were struck by just how marvelously defined the Riojas are, with a soft suppleness that is sometimes missing from other, chewier Riojas. Typical of this house throughout the years, they show a degree of finesse and dimensionality we tend to associate with Burgundy, as well as a maturity that bespeaks long-cellaring, particularly the 2015 and 2019. The result is heft and power, but with expressive grace. The Albariño, with grapes sourced from Galicia, is a richer expression than you tend to find, and all the better for it; this is almost a powerhouse of a white, but with a gorgeous minerality and a driving acidity that keeps everything in exquisite balance.


What to Pair Them With: The Riojas: chicken romesco; braised lamb; rack of lamb; roast pork; chicken and olive stew; white beans and sausages. The Albarino: ceviche; shrimp of any kind or preparation; oysters; soft cheeses; salads; hummus and crudité.


Fun Fact: Don Luciano Murrieta, who studied winemaking in Bordeaux, made the first Rioja wine, in 1852.


Our Guarantee: We always buy and source direct, so you can be confident that your wines will arrive in your hands with pristine provenance. Don't hesitate to secure yours today!


*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Spring 2024. With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in KS, MI, NY, or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Monday, December 4th, 2023.