Long Live The King: Spanish King Inaugurates Tasting Rooms


Marques de Murrieta went the way of royalty to kick off their new era.
Royal Majesty Don Juan Carlos, former king of Spain, inaugurated this past month the winery's newly renovated spaces – tasting rooms, function rooms, a museum and the crown jewel of the estate, a rebuilt castle with 19th-century cellars called Castillo Ygay.
Juan Carlos' presence at the inauguration day was a fitting way to mark the end of an era in which Marques de Murrieta finished off a royally lengthy renovation projection which took nearly 10 years and cost 20 million euros.
Spanish news site Europapress said Juan Carlos was known for being a proponent of  Spanish wines. Ygay wines, in particular, marked monumental events in his life.
“It was precisely a Castillo de Ygay 1925, one of the most sought after wines in the world, selected for Juan Carlos and (son) Felipe to be presented on the day in which he passed his crown into the hands of his son,” Europapress said.
To celebrate the opening of the winery, the king drank a glass of 1938 Ygay, the year of his birth.
The winery's website says the renovations took more than eight years and that the reopening of its doors was one of the most important winery projects in Spain and one of the leading projects in the world.”
The 300-acre winery is set against the base of a small ridge in Rioja. Emerald vineyards stretch outward from the winery, providing a green foreground for the estate's low-slung buildings. 
Marques de Murrieta was founded in 1852 when Lucian Murrieta y Garcia-Lemoine took the opportunity to develop the first fine wine of La Rioja and exported it – for the first time in Spain, according to the winery's site – outside the country's borders. 
Today, the winery produces world-class Rioja. Their Castillo Ygay Rioja carries the banner of the winery's excellence. 
“The mouthfeel is like a gentle touch of satin,” Marques' website says of their 2005 Rioja. “A grand reserve that has muscle, an elegant bouquet, intense fruits and impeccable balance.”
The wine is a mix of 89 percent tempranillo and 11 percent Mazuelo. Marques' Rioja is aged 30 months in 225-liter American oak barrels and an additional 36 months in the bottle. The wine goes well with red meat, game and cured meats and cheese. 
Photo Credit: Marques de Murrieta

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