Marques de Murrieta
About Marques de Murrieta
Named after Luciano de Murrieta, who has long been considered the founding fathers of modern Rioja winemaking, Marqués de Murrieta winery was bought by Vicente Cebrián-Sagarriga in 1983. His son, Vicente Dalmau Cebrián-Sagarriga, began working at the winery at the age of 13. After the sudden passing of his father in 1996, Vicente took over the reins and channelled his grief into growing the winery to what it is today. These developments included buying land (all wines use estate-grown grapes) and increasing cellar space to allow long term bottle ageing.
Vicente is supported by María Vargas, one of the highest-profile winemakers in Spain. Joining the winery as an assistant winemaker in 1995, Maria was appointed the head winemaker in 2000 and is credited with inspiring other females in the industry.
The Winemaking and the Wines
Their flagship cuvée, the Castillo Y’Gay Rioja Gran Reserva Especial, needs little introduction. Made only in the best vintages from vines planted in 1950, the wine spent a decade maturing in the cellars before being released and had no problems impressing wine critics. Delivering “marvelous aromas of crushed berries, tobacco, cedar and mushrooms” (JS), Luis Gutiérrez (Wine Advocate) reckons this to be one of the finest Rioja in modern days, with “all the stuffing and balance that is needed for a long (and positive) aging in bottle”.