An exploration of wine

569. Marqués de Murrieta, Castillo Ygay Rioja Gran Reserva Especial, 1970

846 0
Book 4 Wine 569
€84.55; 13%

Got lazy when the label was being difficult – who knew that leaving it to rot for a couple of weeks would solve the problem! Anyway, Mum, Dad and I drank this on their 41st Wedding Anniversary eve. I’d bought it at a Spanish airport a few years earlier, with a view to their 2010 40th, but they were in Japan! 25 years in barrels for this, then 16 years in bottle. Just starting to hollow a touch, but still very fine. Mid-depth garnet core with a tawny / brick rim. Initially vanilla and banana laced, opening into meaty, coal-smoke hints, coffee, cocoa powder and more muted vanilla. Some liquorice perhaps? Coconut, cakebread, pepper. Underlying dried cranberries and bramble jelly. Sour cherry and citrus acidity dominates flavour – fresh, elegant, crisp and dry. Medium, ripe, slightly chalky tannins. Medium-to-long, gently toasty finish. Richer cherry mid-palate as it warms up, but a bit acid-heavy. Otherwise great.

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