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 t stood back and stagnated however; their 300 hectare estate produces Dalmau – a blend which represents an avant-garde expression of their terroir. 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. The baton was passed onto his son Vicente Dalmau who proceeded to revolutionise the entire estate, investing significantly in the vineyards and winery to take the bodega into the 21st century. The emphasis is very much quality focused, with low yields in the vineyard and limited production in the winery. Truly hand-made, world-class wines from the oldest family owned estate in Rioja. On the southern limit of the Rioja Alta, just a few kilometres from Logroño, we find a unique winery on the Ygay estate. It is built in the middle of 300 hectares of its own vineyards, guaranteeing complete control over the grapes. Within the Ygay estate all the traditional grape varieties are still grown; Tempranillo, Gracia , Mazuelo, Garnacha and Viura. The vineyards are divided into many subplots including single vineyards; ‘Capellanía’ planted with Viura (from 2004 vintage aged in 100% French oak), ‘Dalmau’ which contains old vine Cabernet Sauvig n, and up on ‘La Plana’, at 500 metres above sea level, we find the source of the Gran Reserva Especial Castillo Ygay. Grapes are first de-stemmed and then fermented in temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks for 9 days, with constant skin contact. During fermentation pumping over and punching down operations are regularly carried out. These processes ensure both effective and gentle colour and aroma extraction. Afterwards the solid parts of the grapes are pressed in a vertical press. This is a gentle process that extracts colour and ripe tannins from the grape’s skin.