The 2011 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial was produced with a blend of 84% Tempranillo and 16% Mazuelo (Cariñena) from a plot called La Plana that was planted in 1950 at 485 meters in altitude, the highest in the Ygay property. The grapes were picked between September 17 and 22, and the Mazuelo was later, on September 28. The bunches were destemmed and lightly crushed and put to ferment in stainless steel for 11 days with constant pump-overs and punch-downs. The Tempranillo matured for 28 months in American oak barrels and the Mazuelo for 28 months in French barriques. It's 14% alcohol and has a pH of 3.65 with 5.6 grams of acidity (measured in tartaric acid per liter). It's very tough to follow a vintage like 2010, and 2011 was not an easy year; the wine is possibly more powerful and concentrated but keeping the freshness, with a longer élevage but very young and lively, with an elegant texture and mouthfeel, great balance and elegance. The wine feels lively, and it seems impossible that it has been in bottle for over six years. It has the classical profile with the effect of the American oak barrels, cigar box, cedar wood, sweet spices—aromatic, intoxicating, complex. This should age very slowly and for a very long time. 131,668 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2016. No 2013, 2014 or 2015 will be produced. They have a 2012, and they will jump from that to 2016. The 2012 will be released in late 2023 or early 2024 and the 2016 in 2027 or 2028. Finger crossed...
97 Pts Luis Gutierrez, Robert Parker
Deep violet-red to the eye, this wine has a nose of raspberry, white chocolate and juniper berry. Still youthful on the palate, it offers ever-present tannins supporting flavors of dark plum, black cherry, caramel and violet that slowly fade into a soft cherry-pie finish. Drink through 2042.
97 Pts Mike DeSimone, Wine Enthusiast