Type: Red Table Wine
Dalmau, a limited-production single-vineyard wine, reflects a modern facet of Marqués de Murrieta. It is made from the best fruit grown in the estate’s old Canajas vineyard, perched 465 metres above sea level. The soil here is rich in chalky clay, with a layer of stony topsoil that favours optimal ripening.
Dalmau is predominantly Tempranillo, the remainder a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Graciano. Fruit was hand-harvested, then transported to the winery in small crates to minimize damage to the berries. Bunches were de-stemmed, then fermented by varietal: Tempranillo in stainless steel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Graciano in small oak vats. The individual component wines aged for 19 months in French Allier oak prior to blending.
“The more-modern red of the portfolio is the 2013 Dalmau Reserva, a blend of 71% Tempranillo, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Graciano from one single vineyard within the Ygay estate, the Pago Canajas. It fermented separately for 11 days, the Tempranillo in stainless steel and the rest in oak vats. It matured in new French oak barrels for 19 months. They had to do a very strict selection and discarded some 50% of the grapes. It has a very Atlantic, cool-climate profile, with the Cabernet Sauvignon marking the nose quite a bit, somehow austere (perhaps the increase of Graciano has something to do with it). It’s balsamic, herbal, clean, serious and complex. The palate is very balanced, with refined, fine-grained tannins and a nice core of acidity. This is a very good, serious vintage of Dalmau. Proprietor Vicente Cebrián told me they are thinking about keeping the Dalmau in bottle for some three years before it’s released. 20,814 bottles were filled in October 2016.”
94 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Feb 2018
“Dalmau comes from the Canajas vineyard, which has a high concentration of limestone, and is unusual in Rioja for having being a Médoc Alavés style. The sweet, savoury, red-fruited Tempranillo core is underpinned by the grassiness, cassis and tannic structure of 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Graciano. It’s even more remarkable for being made in 2013, what María Vargas calls a “very complicated vintage”. 2020-35”
96 points, Tim Atkin’s Rioja Report, Feb 2018