“HATS OFF TO MUGA”


Our Wines / Thursday, December 8th, 2022

Bodegas Muga is Rioja Alta’s premier producer and the Muga family are considered to be one of Spain’s most important winemaking families. The winery has practically legendary status due to its philosophy revolving around adherence to tradition, dynamism, and winemaking of the highest quality. Few producers in the world fashion wines that have such a sense of tradition and place as Muga’s. The wines of Muga have an absolutely distinct, unique, and inimitable profile.
 
Bodegas Muga “Selección Especial” Rioja Reserva 2018 – $54.95 per bottle – six packs.
95 Points Robert Parker.
2018 was a cooler vintage, with a fairly long maturation, which made the wines somewhat fresher and less alcoholic, as showcased by the 2018 Selección Especial, a classical blend of the four red varieties from Rioja, Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano with contained ripeness (14.05% alcohol) and good freshness. It fermented in oak casks with indigenous yeasts and matured in French oak barrels, 40% of them new, for 26 months. They were not very happy with the vintage and had to sort and discard, but as they didn’t produce Prado Enea, Torre Muga or Haro, those grapes went into this wine. They are reluctant about 2018, but I think it was a vintage capable of the best and the worst, and this 2018 is floral, expressive and elegant. It’s medium to full- bodied, with very fine, chalky tannins, combining power and elegance. Amazing!
 
Bodega Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva Rioja 2015 – $86.95 per bottle – six packs.
97 Points Robert Parker.
“The most classical of their wines, the 2015 Prado Enea Gran Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano, mostly from Rioja Alta (Sajazarra, Cellorigo and Fonzaleche), but the Garnacha is from different plots in the zone of Tudelilla at high altitude. These grapes are always picked last, but the wine has a similar alcohol level as the rest, around 14.5% in a warm year like 2019. The modus operandi is similar to other of the top cuvées—harvested into 200-kilogram boxes, destemming, optical sorting and fermentation in small oak casks with indigenous yeasts. The élevage in this case is extended to 36 months, and the barrels are only 10% new. This is, year in, year out, my favorite wine from Muga, and in this powerful and ripe year, these late-harvesting vines ripened thoroughly and delivered a full array of aromas and flavors so that the wine has plenty of depth and complexity. It has a very classical profile, with incipient tertiary notes, perfumed, floral and rich, textured and beautifully balanced
 
Bodegas Muga Torre Muga Rioja 2019 – $109.95 per bottle – six packs.
98+ points Jeb Dunnuck.
“The 2019 Torre Muga is always a more powerful, ripe expression of Rioja that never loses its sense of place. Deep ruby/purple, with a glorious bouquet of cassis, graphite, tobacco leaf, chocolate, and crushed stone, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a deep, pure, multi-dimensional texture, building tannins, and good acidity. It’s young, unevolved, yet oh, so promising. Hide bottles for 7-8 years if you can, and it will cruise for 20-30 years. The blend is 80% Tempranillo and the balance Mazuelo and Graciano, aged 18 months in French oak. Drink 2029-2060. (06/13/22).”
 
Bodega Muga Aro Rioja 2019 – $344.95 per bottle – three packs
100 points Jeb Dunnuck:
“Pure magic, the 2019 Aro is 70% Tempranillo and 30% Graciano from a plant by plant selection of the Muga family’s oldest vines of Tempranillo, blended with a substantial portion of Graciano. This dense purple behemoth has a primordial bouquet of pure cassis, graphite, crushed stone, lead pencil, new leather, and hints of spring flowers. Building incrementally on the palate, with full-bodied richness, a huge mid-palate, and ripe, velvety tannins, this is one heavenly Rioja that deserves 7-8 years of bottle age and will age like a First Growth from Bordeaux. Hats off to the team at Muga for another incredible wine. Drink 2029-2059. (06/13/22).”