Vinous – 97
Brilliant ruby. A hugely perfumed bouquet evokes spice-accented red and dark berry preserves, potpourri, pipe tobacco and vanilla, and violet and mineral accents emerge as the wine stretches out. Palate-staining blackberry, cherry-vanilla, cassis, fruitcake, mocha and candied licorice flavors show superb depth and clarity while hints of floral pastilles and Moroccan spices add complexity. Gains weight with air, with no loss of energy, showing powerful, spicy thrust on a strikingly long, gently tannic and floral-driven finish.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2035
Robert Parker – 97
I had very high expectations for the 2010 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, and the wine delivered as expected. 2010 was one of the finest vintages in Rioja in recent years, and this blend of Tempranillo with 15% Mazuelo (CariÃ±ena) has to be one of the finest modern day Castillo de Ygays. The grapes come from a plot planted in 1966 at 485 meters in altitude, the highest in the estate, and the vines yielded 3,500 kilos per hectare. The two varieties fermented separately in stainless steel for 11 days, and the wine spent 26 months in a mixture of American and French oak barrels. I tasted the 2009 next to this 2010, and I had also had a bottle two nights before. So, I was able to compare this with the 2009, which was a very different year, as 2010 was a cooler year and a priori a more adequate year for long-aging wines like this Gran Reserva. The difference was the vegetative cycle, as the vinification and elevage was the same. This is sleeker and sharper, less developed and livelier than the 2009, which already shows some signs of “old wine” with aromas that remind me of the old classical Rioja reds. It has greatness and finesse and is a very attractive wine with all the stuffing and balance that is needed for a long (and positive) aging in bottle. This is one of the finest modern day vintages of Castillo Ygay. This is going to develop in the direction of the classical bottlings from yesteryear. 130,853 bottles produced. It was bottled in March 2015.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2040