2001 Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial
It is always interesting to me that the older a wine gets, the more it can taste the same as other similar varieties. An aged Tempranillo, not so different from Cabernet or Shiraz, it makes you wonder why we keep them so long, especially with old wines such an acquired taste.
I first tried this wine at a splendidly debaucherous event, the Good Food and Wine Show back in the early 2010’s. Dan Murphy’s had established a walled area in the middle of the show and inside was a veritable cornucopia of delights. Aged wines, international wines, interesting “new brands”, champagne, you name it. So, for no additional charge mind you, it was possible to drink as much 10 year old Leuwin “Art Series” Cab or 2002 Gold Label Lanson as you wanted while the rest of the world lined up for Moet Chandon…I mean lines around the block BTW.
Anyway, back to my point…it was all free…and then I found this. The dollar was high, interest in wine regions outside of the Barossa was low, and Spanish wine barely rated a thought for most. In other parts of the world this was about $100 per bottle, but old Uncle Dan had this for a pineapple ($50). Online now its about $150 per bottle for comparison, and that’s probably a fair price. This wine is no slouch.
Already 10 years old and just released, the Castillo Y’Gay gets all the treatments, all the oak and all the fruit and I was hooked. $300 dollars later and a wooden box full of red tissue paper and individually wrapped bottles turns up at the doorstep. These are now alas all gone apart from this one very lonely bottle.
This bottle disrobed from the artifice of its youth, no mouth filling fruit and oak barrage, left behind is a mature and well composed wine. Blackberries, leather and wood spice, the length on the pallet is excellent with just a hint of the prickly tannin left behind after such a long time in bottle.
This is why we tuck bottles away, in the hope that one day we can smile fondly and reminisce with an old friend, remember another time in life, and know that we both are now a little older, a little less vibrant, but still with something to offer.