To be classified as a “Reserva”, a wine must spend one year or more in oak, followed by two or more in bottle. Fruit for Marqués de Murrieta’s Reserva is hand-harvested from the Ygay Estate on the southernmost point of Rioja Alta, some 320 to 485 metres above sea level. In 2014, this included 83% Tempranillo and 9% Graciano, with the remainder composed of Garnacha and Mazuelo (also known as Carignan). Hand-harvested fruit was de-stemmed and fermented in cool stainless steel, then pressed in a vertical press – a gentle means of extracting juice. The wine spent 16 months in new and neutral American oak barrels, then nearly a year and a half in bottle prior to release.
“This is very structured and powerful with a dense and rich palate of ripe fruit and hints of toasted oak. Full and layered. Structured. Released February 2020. Needs a few years of bottle age. Try after 2021.”
94 points, JamesSuckling.com, July 2019
“I also tasted an unbottled sample of the 2016 Rioja Reserva, which should be bottled in a couple of months, before the summer. What I tasted was the final blend, and it represents the year—2016 was a cooler year, and the wine also goes in that direction. 2016 saw a large crop, and the grapes for this cuvée were harvested at the end of September, going toward more finesse and subtleness, combined with the natural power. There was a change in the winery in 2016 that was finalized in 2018 with the new winery. The wine is textured and fine, and it’s more elegant than the 2015 I tasted next to it. The detail and texture on the palate is different, and the quality of the tannins is completely different. This should be released in early 2020. There will be almost 1.1 million bottles of this, which is remarkable, as they have managed to increase quality and quantity.”
(93-94) points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, June 2019