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Bodegas Muga Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2008

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    13.5% ABV
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    13.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The color is clean and bright, predominantly red with violet hues reflecting its excellent acidity. The first impression on the palate is of slight sharpness giving it freshness, the first sign of a wine which will give us a lot of sensations during its long life. As the wine moves through your mouth hints of dried fruits and spices appear and these are complemented in the aftertaste by balsamic nuances. We are faced with one of those rare exceptions in which the ripe fruit is better expressed in the retronasal phase than directly on the nose. We can find prunes, red berries, a bit of stewed apple and mulled wine. In the gradual fading of the sensations in both the retronasal phase and the aftertaste there remains a faint reminder of the fine spices from the oak.

    Blend: 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 7% Mazuelo, 3% Graciano

    Critical Acclaim

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    Bodegas Muga

    Bodegas Muga

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    Bodegas Muga, Rioja, Spain
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    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.

    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 Baja. Wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. 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 Baja produce wines with deep color and higher alcohol, which can add great body and richness to a blend.

    Fresh and fruity Riojas 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 around six months to one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two (plus three years in bottle), 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.

    Tempranillo

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    Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins and a bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions and important throughout most of Spain. Depending on location, it takes on a few synonyms; in Penedès, it is known as Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Furthermore in Portugal, known as Tinta Roriz, it is a key component both in Port and the dry red wines of the Douro. The New World regions of California, Washington and Oregon have all had success with Tempranillo, producing a ripe, amicable and fruit-dominant style of red.

    In the Glass

    Tempranillo produces medium-weight reds with strawberry and black fruit characteristics and depending on yield, growing conditions and winemaking, can produce hints of spice, toast, leather, tobacco, herb or vanilla.

    Perfect Pairings

    Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and good acidity make it extremely food friendly. Pair these with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew or paella.

    Sommelier Secret

    The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a naming system is in place to indicate how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release. Rioja labeled Joven (a fresh and fruity style) spends a year or less in oak, whereas Gran Reserva (complex and age-worthy) must be matured for a minimum of two years in oak and three years in bottle before release. Requirements on Crianza and Reserva fall somewhere in between.

    TRD10388_2008 Item# 122113