Marvelous aromas of crushed berries, tobacco, cedar and mushrooms. Some dried cheese. Then turns to flowers. Very complex. Full and intense with fantastic depth and power. It goes on for minutes. It is a wine that exudes tradition but gives a sense of modernity with precise winemaking.
Ygay these days is a blend of Tempranilo and Mazuelo, the later making up 15% in this vintage. 2010 will be remembered in the great vineyards of Europe as a classic year, elegant restraint and wonderful harmonious balance, even in youth, its key characteristics. The Ygay fits this template perfectly; plums and sloes, hints of blueberry and cassis, then figs, cocoa and sousbois, a distinct balsamic note to underline provenance. The Mazuelo etches fresh acidity and a powerful finish, leaving the Tempranillo the opportunity to dance flamboyantly on the mid-palate, the bringer of joy and harmony. (SF)
I had very high expectations for the 2010 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, and the wine delivered as expected. 2010 was one of the finest vintages in Rioja in recent years, and this blend of Tempranillo with 15% Mazuelo (Cariñena) has to be one of the finest modern day Castillo de Ygays. The grapes come from a plot planted in 1966 at 485 meters in altitude, the highest in the estate, and the vines yielded 3,500 kilos per hectare. The two varieties fermented separately in stainless steel for 11 days, and the wine spent 26 months in a mixture of American and French oak barrels. I tasted the 2009 next to this 2010, and I had also had a bottle two nights before. So, I was able to compare this with the 2009, which was a very different year, as 2010 was a cooler year and a priori a more adequate year for long-aging wines like this Gran Reserva. The difference was the vegetative cycle, as the vinification and élevage was the same. This is sleeker and sharper, less developed and livelier than the 2009, which already shows some signs of "old wine" with aromas that remind me of the old classical Rioja reds. It has greatness and finesse and is a very attractive wine with all the stuffing and balance that is needed for a long (and positive) aging in bottle. This is one of the finest modern day vintages of Castillo Ygay. This is going to develop in the direction of the classical bottlings from yesteryear. (LG)
Brilliant ruby. A hugely perfumed bouquet evokes spice-accented red and dark berry preserves, potpourri, pipe tobacco and vanilla, and violet and mineral accents emerge as the wine stretches out. Palate-staining blackberry, cherry-vanilla, cassis, fruitcake, mocha and candied licorice flavors show superb depth and clarity while hints of floral pastilles and Moroccan spices add complexity. Gains weight with air, with no loss of energy, showing powerful, spicy thrust on a strikingly long, gently tannic and floral-driven finish. (JR)
The city of Logroño is surrounded by several high mesas, pieces of the original plateau that still stand above the cliffs and the Ebro River valley below. The Pago La Plana is one of them, a flat mesa at an elevation of 1,590 feet, with close to 100 acres of vines at the top of Finca Ygay. On the north side of the plateau, the soil is limestone that hits solid rock five feet below, limiting the penetration of water; the soil shifts to round river stones to the southwest, where the Tempranillo and Mazuelo vines, planted in 1950, have been the exclusive source for Castillo Ygay since 2001 (prior to that, the wine included other parcels on the 740-acre estate). Great vintages of this wine can thrive for more than 50 years, and this vintage appears to be pretty great. It’s grand and dynamic, a youthful ten-year-old. Initially austere, gripped by bitter plum-skin tannins and mouthwatering strawberry acidity, the wine opens with exposure to air and the fruit begins to blossom with an energy that defines what is great about Rioja.
Maturing well, this round red is a lovely example of the traditional style. Orange peel, dried cherry, forest floor, vanilla and black tea flavors mingle harmoniously over round tannins and citrusy acidity. Generous but gentle, lively, balanced and harmonious. Tempranillo and Mazuelo. (TM) *#1 Wine of the Year 2020*
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