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Bodegas Muga Aro 2006

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • ST92
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Winemaker Notes

In the constant pursuit of excellence, the Muga family decided to make a new wine to exhibit the power of Tempranillo and Graciano as well as showcase their best and oldest vineyards. With the renowned vintage of 2000, they produced Aro. The Aro wine comes from the best old vines (min. 60 yrs. old), which are all located on southeast slopes in the Valley of the Rio Oja in Rioja Alta. There is a high percentage of clay in these vineyards.

Aro is a blend of 70% Tempranillo, and 30% Graciano. Fermentation is done in small capacity oak vats, then to new oak barrels where the fermentation is finished, then the wine is aged for 18 months in new French Troncais barriques. Aro is lightly clarified and bottled unfiltered. In the constant pursuit of excellence, the Muga family decided to make a new wine to exhibit the power of Tempranillo and Graciano as well as showcase their best and oldest vineyards. With the renowned vintage of 2000, they produced Aro. The Aro wine comes from the best old vines (min. 60 yrs. old), which are all located on southeast slopes in the Valley of the Rio Oja in Rioja Alta. There is a high percentage of clay in these vineyards.

Critical Acclaim

WS 94
Wine Spectator

This inky bruiser is closed and brooding now, but a bit of air reveals rich fruit, plenty of toasty, smoky oak and complex mineral, sanguine, licorice and spice notes. Firm and polished, this is a fine example of the alta expresión style. Best after 2011. 81 cases imported.

RP 94
The Wine Advocate

The 2006 Aro is a glass-coating opaque purple color. The nose offers up mineral, damp earth notes, balsamic, blackberry, and black cherry. Dense, savory, and concentrated on the palate, it will benefit from another 6-8 years of cellaring, although it should be approachable at an earlier age than previous vintages.

ST 92
International Wine Cellar

Inky violet. An exotic, intensely aromatic nose displays cherry compote, sassafras, anise and potpourri, with a strong vanilla note. Broad, palate-coating dark fruit flavors gain brightness with air and pick up a lively mineral quality, which adds lift and back-end cut. Showing a lot of sexy oak and still pretty primary; the finish is extremely long, sweet and almost shockingly lithe. This is a baby.

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Bodegas Muga

Bodegas Muga

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Bodegas Muga, , Spain
Bodegas Muga
The Muga wine cellars were founded in 1932 by Isaac Muga Martínez who originated from a family with strong ties to the winemaking industry. On the death of the founder in 1969, his children Manuel, Isabel and Isaac Muga Caño took over the reins.

Two years later in 1971, they moved their headquarters to their present location in the traditional Station District on the outskirts of Haro. Bodegas Muga has continued to grow as the years have passed but it has never lost the spirit or aptitude of a family-run company.

The winery controls every step of the viticultural and vinification process from the vineyards to making their own barrels and fermenting and aging the wine entirely in oak. Muga is one of only six estates in the world that owns its own cooperage and they import the oak directly from the United States and France. Bodegas Muga is one of the oldest, most elegant and traditional Rioja producers.

A long and narrow valley producing flavorful red, white, and pink wines...

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A long and narrow valley producing flavorful red, white, and pink wines, the Rhône is bisected by the river of the same name and split into two distinct sub-regions—north and south. While a handful of grape varieties span the entire length of the valley, there are significant differences between the two zones in climate and geography as well as the style and quantity of wines produced. The Northern Rhône, with its continental climate and steep hillside vineyards, is responsible for a mere 5% or less of the greater region’s total output. The Southern Rhône has a much more Mediterranean climate, the aggressive, chilly Mistral wind, and plentiful fragrant wild herbs known collectively as ‘garrigue.’

In the Northern Rhône, the only permitted red variety is Syrah. In the appellations of St.-Joseph, Hermitage, Cornas, and Côte-Rôtie (where up to 20% Viognier may be co-fermented), it produces savory, peppery wines with telltale notes of olive, bacon fat, and smoke. Oily, perfumed whites are made from Viognier in Condrieu and Château-Grillet, while elsewhere only Marsanne and Roussanne are used, with the former providing body and texture and the latter lending nervy acidity. The wines of the Southern Rhône are typically blends, with the reds often based on Grenache and balanced by Syrah, Mourvèdre, and an assortment of other varieties. All three northern white varieties are used here, as well as Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourbelenc, and more. The best known sub-regions of the Southern Rhône are the reliable, wallet-friendly Côtes du Rhône and the esteemed Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Others include Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and rosé-only appellation Tavel.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice...

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

HNYBMAARO06C_2006 Item# 107831

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