Striving for vinous perfection after 30 years…

How do you measure history in a glass of wine? Well, pour a glass of Castillo Ygay 1986 Blanco Gran Reserva Especial and perhaps you will steal a snapshot of a bygone era.

Tonight’s seduction was not only vinous but also of the culinary kind. Five courses cooked by Heston Blumenthal’s kitchen “Dinner” at the Mandarin Oriental to overload the senses, and matched with the latest releases from Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay.


No Heston meal would be complete without the famous Meat Fruit course from circa 1500, made from mandarin, chicken liver parfait, and served on grilled bread. This was matched petfectly with another new(ish) Murrieta release… the Marques de Murrieta Primer Rose ~ a heavenly, fragrant, meaty wine with a meagre 5,000 bottle production.


But of course the night was not about the food, but certainly about the wines, and the star headline act was the Ygay Blanco 1986, which shone brighter than on any previous occasion I had drunk it in the past 2 years!

So many 100 point tasting notes have been written about the Blanco that I’ve decided not to bore you with yet another. What I will say is that this wine typifies the future of fine wine… showing rarity (8,000 bottles), scarcity, quality, accessibility and longevity. The perfect 100 point recipe for aspiring winemakers.


An honourable mention needs to go to the backing band, who made the night all possible – the Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial red. The 2007 vintage was poetic, fragrant, lush and perfumed, with real gravelly, sappy minerality starting to develop after all these years! 


A majestic evening like this can only be ended by a proverbial bad boy… the Dalmau Red Blend 2012.

Underrated, and under appreciated for years, the Dalmau clocks in as a gem waiting to be discovered. The highly intelligent child yearning to show the world its true talents! But tonight was not the night. That privilege belonged to the Ygay Blanco 1986! 

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