Marques de Murrieta is a big name Spanish producer. It has made its reputation in Rioja turning out consistently good wines. Back in the late 19th Century, Peruvian born Luciano de Murrieta took the cash his family had made banking in the City of London and purchased the Ygay vineyards near Logrono on the Camino de Santiago. He’d been cheesed off at having only French light wines in England, and wanted to develop high quality wines in Spain. He did a good job.
I love Rioja’s, be they red, white or rosada, but the whites can be hugely variable in quality. Marques de Murrieta tends to be consistently great. Last night we had a Marques de Murrieta Blanco Gran Reserva 1998.
A glorious sunshine yellow with thick slow moving legs, this Marques de Murrieta Blanco Gran Reserva from Majestic smells clean in a slightly oxidised way, with oodles of vanillin from plenty of time in American oak. It’s dry with stacks of acidity. There’s an alarming quantity of tannin for a white wine, my dining companion described it as ‘cold tea, but in a good way’.
This is a big wine with plenty of body and an intensity of flavour that marks it out as a very individual drink. It’s loooong.
Now and again, perhaps more often than you might expect, I get a slightly dodgy bottle, not dodgy bad, just quite oxidised, pushing it towards a sherry-esque flavour, which I like, but plenty of people don’t.
I’d recommend Marques de Murrieta Blanco Gran Reserva to anyone wanting to try white rioja for the first time or simply looking for something really different for a change. Expect to pay around £8 at Majestic.