96 Points - Wine Advocate: The 2005 Castillo de Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, a classic among classics, is back in top form with the excellent 2005 vintage. It’s produced from a blend of 89% Tempranillo and 11% Mazuelo (aka Carinena), a difficult grape that is in high esteem at the winery (they exceptionally produced a varietal Mazuelo in 2000 to celebrate their 150th anniversary) as they consider it adds acidity and aging potential to the blend and has been selected specifically to make part of the flagship wine’s blend. In 2005, the Tempranillo was harvested on September 30, the Mazuelo on October 3, and fermented separately in stainless steel vats. The Tempranillo ages in American oak barrels and the Mazuelo in French ones, both for a period of 30 months. The wine matures for a further two years in bottle before being released. It’s extremely backward and tight, showing very young, with a balanced nose between spice, tertiary and cherry fruit aromas. It’s a powerful, still young vintage, with plenty of glycerin, body, round tannins. An austere wine (is it the Mazuelo?), it is complex and ever-changing in the palate. It has a sense of harmony that only the best wines have. Very long and elegant. I loved its serious and austere overall feeling. 100,000 bottles produced. This is a true vin de garde which develops complex notes of violet and meat with time in the glass. This is a Gran Reserva greatly marked by the Mazuelo, which should give it great ability to age. At this quality level it represents very good value. Drink 2014-2030. Yes, this is one of the oldest wineries in Rioja, created back in the 19th century, and they keep their traditions, but now but each wine is selected from specific plots, something that they have done since the year 2000, a year that marked a big change in the winery. I feel more balance and better integration of the oak with the wine in recent vintages. I really liked the wines I tasted and was very excited to be shown a tank sample of the 1986 Castillo de Ygay Gran Reserva Blanco. Yes, you have read it correctly, it was a tank sample which is waiting to be bottled after almost 21 years in wood and 6 years in tank that will be released sometime in the future. I simply loved it. It has great complexity, freshness, elegance, power and acidity. I look forward to tasting (and drinking!) this wine once bottled! There will be 15,000 bottles of this wine, but they’ll have to last for 8 years, because the next vintage will be 1994. More on this next time round.