A life-changing elixir

2005 Castillo Ygay, Marqués de Murrieta, Tinto Gran Reserva Especial – Early Release, Rioja, Spain (£60-£65, Berry Bros & Rudd, 0800-280 2440, www.bbr.com; Whole Foods Market, 020-7368 4500; Handford Wines, 020-7589 6113; Fortnum & Mason, 0845-300 1707; Selfridges, 0800-123400).

I don’t much like what I call ‘old-fashioned Rioja’. That stench of decay coupled with medicinal-tinged barrels leaching out the bright berry fruit notes from the once livid tempranillo grapes and transforming the wine into a vinous Benylin is a flavour to which I will never become accustomed.

Not all historic producers, though, have this fetid scent in their wines. The great Marqués de Murrieta launched this epic wine late last year, and here is my trumpet voluntary alerting you to its greatness.

Coming from a single vineyard called La Plana, it is one of the most monumental wines I have ever tasted. Youthful, with fit tannins and lashings of American oak (30 months!), this is a mighty and imposing wine and the fruit is so pure and captivating that my throat tightened and I immediately felt I was in the presence of a life-changing elixir.

I won’t give you my score for this leviathan, it’s too vulgar to discuss such an enormous number, but I urge you to take advantage of the early release of this mythical creation.

• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (www.matthewjukes.com).

Merryn

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