Bodegas Muga Conde de Haro Brut Rose 2017
Bodegas Muga is a family firm founded in 1932 by Isaac Muga and Aurora Caño. The first wines were made in an underground cellar, until in 1968 they decided to set up their own winery in a beautiful old 19th-century town-house situated in the city of Haro. The Bodegas Muga outstanding feature is that it always uses the finest materials, combining tradition with the latest advances in winemaking so as always to give its wines the very best quality without losing authenticity. Indeed, it is the only wine cellar in Spain which employs its own master cooper and coopers, who make all the vats for the cellar as well as the oak casks. The winery remains true to traditional winemaking methods such as racking the casks by gravity and fining the wine with fresh egg whites. Bodegas Muga has succeeded in combining the purest family tradition with an updated vision of the future which has allowed them to preserve their own personality and character.
Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental. Wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although specific sub-region (zonas), village (municipios) and vineyard (viñedo singular) wines can now be labeled. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Oriental produce wines with deep color and higher alcohol, which can add great body and richness to a blend.
Fresh and fruity Rioja wines labeled, Joven, (meaning young) see minimal aging before release, but more serious Rioja wines undergo multiple years in oak. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged for one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.
Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, adding complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, toast and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan) often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés.
White wines, typically balancing freshness with complexity, are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura. Some whites are blends of Viura with aromatic Malvasia, and then barrel fermented and aged to make a more ample, richer style of white.
What are the different types of sparkling rosé wine?
Rosé sparkling wines like Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and others make a fun and festive alternative to regular bubbles—but don’t snub these as not as important as their clear counterparts. Rosé Champagnes (i.e., those coming from the Champagne region of France) are made in the same basic way as regular Champagne, from the same grapes and the same region. Most other regions where sparkling wine is produced, and where red grape varieties also grow, also make a rosé version.
How is sparkling rosé wine made?
There are two main methods to make rosé sparkling wine. Typically, either white wine is blended with red wine to make a rosé base wine, or only red grapes are used but spend a short period of time on their skins (maceration) to make rosé colored juice before pressing and fermentation. In either case the base wine goes through a second fermentation (the one that makes the bubbles) through any of the various sparkling wine making methods.
What gives rosé Champagne and sparkling wine their color and bubbles?
The bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, which traps carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel. During this stage, the yeast cells can absorb some of the wine’s color but for the most part, the pink hue remains.
How do you serve rosé sparkling wine?
Treat rosé sparkling wine as you would treat any Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and other sparkling wine of comparable quality. For storing in any long-term sense, these should be kept at cellar temperature, about 55F. For serving, cool to about 40F to 50F. As for drinking, the best glasses have a stem and a flute or tulip shape to allow the bead (bubbles) and beautiful rosé hue to show.
How long do rosé Champagne and sparkling wine last?
Most rosé versions of Prosecco, Champagne, Cava or others around the “$20 and under” price point are intended for early consumption. Those made using the traditional method with extended cellar time before release (e.g., Champagne or Crémant) can typically improve with age. If you are unsure, definitely consult a wine professional for guidance.