70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha; 10% Graciano/Mazuelo
96 Points; Tim Atkin MW Special Rioja Report 2021, Rioja Reserva of the Year 2022: Tim Atkin MW
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Muga Selección Especial Reserva 2019 is here; the 2018 sold so fast. This is a stunning, limited edition Reserva which is only made in very good years. Bodegas Muga is one of the most famous wineries in Rioja and their wines are sublime. This vintage has complex aromas of ripe red berry and black fruit coming to the fore with hints of black pepper and cedary oak followed by notes of coffee, mocha and a touch of mint. The palate is smooth and elegant with a mid-palate of fresh, ripe black berry fruits and spice. It is underpinned by a superb structure with intensity and power. It is also nuanced with some restraint in the palate, and it will be interesting to see how this vintage develops as it has great ageing potential. There is no doubt that Muga Selección Especial Reserva is more like a really fine Gran Reserva in style with beautifully integrated oak; rich and silky at the same time.
There is no stainless steel used in the wine-making of this wine which is fermented with indigenous yeast in oak vats and then aged for 28 months in French oak barrels, using a combination of new and second fill French barrels. It is fined with egg whites before bottling and spending a further 12 months in bottle before release from the Bodega. Muga have their own cooperage where they make their own oak barrels, which is unique; they achieve finesse from barrel fermentation and ageing, that sets them apart from other similar top Rioja Bodegas.
This full-bodied Muga Selección Especial Reserva is a treat now and has the structure to be drinking well into the mid 2030s +, with careful cellarage. A review of this vintage is awaited, in the meantime you can see the consistently high accolades previous vintages have received. 2019 is considered to be an Excellent vintage in Rioja; the best vintage since 2010 and 2011.
“Always a comparative bargain in the Muga range, this Selección Especial benefited from the fact that Torre Muga, Prado Enea and Aro were not produced in 2018. Combining Tempranillo with 15% Garnacha and 5% each of Mazeulo and Graciano, most of it from the area around Haro, this is sweet, succulent, refreshing and comparatively forward, with scented French oak and layers of spicy dark berry fruit.” Drink 2024 – 2035. 95 Points: Tim Atkin Special Rioja Report 2023
“Intense and youthful with warm spice aromas. The oak enhances the dark fruit with cedar wood spice. An enjoyably long finish. Drink 2023 – 2041. 93 Points: Highly Recommended – Decanter Rioja Guide 2023”
“Not far behind the Bodega’s icon reds – Aro, Prado Enea and Torre Muga – in quality, this Tempranillo-based red sees support from 25% Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano. Scented, poised and well-balanced, with toasty, mocha French oak, layers of blackberry and blueberry fruit, fresh acidity and stylish tannins.” Drink 2023 – 2031; 96 Points:Tim Atkin MW Special Rioja Report 2022
“The pick of the current releases from Muga in the absence of new vintages of Aro, Prado Enea and Torre Muga. Scented, poised and well-balanced with toasty mocha French oak, layers of blackberry and blueberry fruit, fresh acidity and stylish tannins. 96 Points; Drink 2023 – 2031; 2015 Tim Atkin MW Special Rioja Report 2021”
Bodegas Muga is a family-run Bodega, established in 1932 by Isaac Muga. and his wife Auro. He was succeeded by Manuel and Isaac, who between them, had five, amazingly tall sons – Manu, Juan, Eduardo, Jorge and Isaac – all of whom work in the business, as do several members of the fourth generation of Mugas.
The Mugas were grape growers before they were winemakers (the family has been in Haro for more than 300 years) and they own 250 hectares of vineyards, with contracts for another 150 hectares, mostly in Rioja Alta. They combine traditional and modern practices; from highly selected, hand-picked grapes in their varied vineyard plots, to their amazing attention to detail throughout the wine-making and ageing processes.
Muga have their own cooperage where they make their own oak barrels, which is unique; they achieve finesse from barrel fermentation and ageing, that sets them apart from other similar top Rioja Bodegas. In his Special Report on Rioja, Tim Atkin MW has classified Bodegas Muga as a First Growth winery.
Year on year their Reserva Selección Especial is superb, and is consistently in Tim Atkin MW and Sarah Jane Evans MW Top Reservas.
Sold by several Independent and larger retailers £28 – £36.80: Check out our great price.
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