Neal Martin writes in Wine Advocate: "The 2004 Castille Ygay Gran Reserva Especial has a delightful bouquet with scents of leather, mocha, freshly ground coffee beans and red berry fruit. It has a perfume that encapsulates everything there is to love about classic Rioja. The palate is a little viscous on the entry with hints of dried fig and dates. It is interwoven by a crisp thread of acidity and displays fine, slightly powdery tannins. There is abundant freshness and vitality: a Rioja speaking of its place with eloquence and clarity. This paragon of classic Rioja lives up to its evocative label. Drink now-2025+.
One of the most famous names in Rioja, Marques de Murrieta was founded in 1852 by Luciano Murrieta, who was inspired by his three-year sojourn in Bordeaux. In 1983 it was purchased by Vicente Dalmau Cebrian-Sagarriga and presently, winemaker Maria Vargas oversees their portfolio that includes both modern and classic styles of Rioja. The 300 hectares of vines on the Ygay Estate in La Rioja Alta allows them to control the quality and within this estate they have singled out specific parcels for their flagship wines. I will start with the white wines. I must confess that I was alarmed by the amount of oxidation shown by the three vintages of Capellania Blanco Reserva that I tasted. Both bottles of the 2005 and 2006 appeared to be excessively oxidized to a degree that I will not pass judgement." 8/12
Jay Miller writes in Wine Advocate: "The 2004 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial is not yet in the market. It spent 29 months in American oak, the first 10 in new barrels. It is a fragrant, enticing, already complex offering that will continue to evolve in the bottle for several more years. Rich, savory, and ripe, this beautifully balanced wine will also have a 30+ year lifespan. It will be a pleasant task to compare these 2 great vintages side-by-side once they have peaked in another 10-15 years."
Josh Raynolds writes in International Wine Cellar: "Deep ruby-red. Ripe red berry and cherry aromas are complicated by vanilla, pipe tobacco and potpourri. Fleshy, palate-coating redcurrant and cherry compote flavors deliver solid punch and pick up floral pastille and smoky nuances with air. The long, seamless finish repeats the deep cherry note and leaves dusty minerals and spices behind. This is delicious now but has the depth and balance to age effortlessly."
Thomas Matthews writes in Wine Spectator: "This plump red bursts with plum, cherry, chocolate and toast flavors, framed by soft tannins and gentle acidity. A juicy wine that's just tipping into maturity. Drink now through 2016. 1,000 cases imported."