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When talking about Rioja, Spain’s number one wine region, Marqués de Murrieta has simply got to be mentioned. And if we talk about it, we should also acknowledge the estate’s most important wine. Rioja’s largest contiguous estate doesn’t buy in or sell grapes. The grapes they harvest from 300 hectares (most of which is Tempranillo) are used for the Reserva, one of Rioja’s brightest wines.
In 2018, owing to the slightly cooler summer, the harvest period returned to the usual time after 2017, and the bunches were picked between October 1 and 20. Thus, the character of the wines is slightly less meaty, and they are more about balance and elegance. The alcohol is more moderate at half a percent lower than the in the case of the 2017 vintage.
Additionally, it is the first among the estate’s wines on the market that was made from the first day to the last in its new state-of-the-art winery. It’s made with red wine technology at its peak, with remote control, immaculate cleanliness, fine-tuning the maceration, extraction, pressing and ageing processes to the extreme.
Destemming is followed by tank-fermentation with 8-10 days of maceration, then the solid part of the grapes is pressed by a vertical press. Despite being the oldest estate in Rioja, the entire process is extremely precise, with María Vargas in charge of the amount sufficient for nearly a million bottles. The base wines used for the blend are aged separately for 20 months in American barrels, then for several more months after blending. Many people identify the wine region and especially the variety with robust, masculine features. Instead, very fine ripeness, bright acidity and deep fruit flavours and immaculate purity are to be found. If we could only show you one thing about the wine region, this would be it.