You just want to smell this, with a polish and clarity that changes all the time. Aromas of walnuts, dark fruits, ginger, roasted seaweed, soya, iron, rosemary, and lavender. Full-bodied, yet polished and firm. Such tension and form. The length is phenomenal. As always, this is a selection of the best of the best. A blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Mazuelo. Almost all American oak. Aged three years barrel and then three years in bottle.
The 2005 Castillo de Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, a classic among classics, is back in top form with the excellent 2005 vintage. It’s produced from a blend of 89% Tempranillo and 11% Mazuelo (aka Carinena), a difficult grape that is in high esteem at the winery as they consider it adds acidity and aging potential to the blend and has been selected specifically to make part of the flagship wine’s blend. In 2005, the Tempranillo was harvested on September 30, the Mazuelo on October 3, and fermented separately in stainless steel vats. The Tempranillo ages in American oak barrels and the Mazuelo in French ones, both for a period of 30 months. The wine matures for a further two years in bottle before being released. It’s extremely backward and tight, showing very young, with a balanced nose between spice, tertiary and cherry fruit aromas. It’s a powerful, still young vintage, with plenty of glycerin, body, round tannins. An austere wine (is it the Mazuelo?), it is complex and ever-changing in the palate. It has a sense of harmony that only the best wines have. Very long and elegant. I loved its serious and austere overall feeling. 100,000 bottles produced. This is a true vin de garde which develops complex notes of violet and meat with time in the glass. This is a Gran Reserva greatly marked by the Mazuelo, which should give it great ability to age. At this quality level it represents very good value. (LG)
Superb at every checkpoint, this is a world-class wine. Cherry, cassis and earth aromas are spicy and mellow, not bullish or loud. This feels creamy but with enough textural grit to keep things lively, while flavors of vanilla, tobacco and plum are nicely integrated. A mild, medium-long finish epitomizes elegance. *Best of 2013, Editors' Choice* (MS)
From 45-year-old vines at La Plana, a plateau of limestone and river rocks at 1,600 feet on Murrieta’s Finca Ygay, this vintage blends Tempranillo with 11 percent Mazuelo. It’s a Super Rioja, physically more powerful though perhaps less immediately terroir expressive than the 2004. The detail is all incipient in the wine, sparkling with acidity and mica-like reflections in the tannins, layering strawberry with blue fruit and black licorice, youthful and bright, smoky and firm. The texture is as grand as the expansive finish. This wine has the stamina and the breed to age for decades.
Bold and rich, this red fills the palate with blackberry, plum sauce, soy, chocolate and spice flavors. Broad and deep, in a modern style, with plenty of oak and enough backbone to stay focused. *Top 100 of 2014, Highly Recommended* (TM)
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