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Bodegas Muga Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2011

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • WW92
  • RP91
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  • WS90
0% ABV
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  • W&S91
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  • RP91
  • WE91
  • RP91
  • RP90
  • RP93
  • WS91
  • W&S94
  • RP92
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4.0 8 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This vintage has rather fresher fruit and floral notes which are present in all the phases of the tasting, but without becoming dominant at any time. The palate has a fresh, jammy cherry, red-berry fruit compote, a touch of liquorice and aniseed, and hints of fennel and white blossom. The rich spectrum of aromas is so great that it barely leaves room for the hints of oaky spices to make an appearance. Smooth mouth-feel with a predominance of sweet, well-rounded tannins, quite surprising for the age of the wine. A presence of natural acidity which has become blurred and in no way intrudes. The aftertaste is long and silky, with a curious mixture of the sweet shop and mineral sensations coming through.

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

Critical Acclaim

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WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
The name Muga resonates with wine lovers all around the globe, the winery has an outstanding track record of success over the last two decades or so. The 2011 Reserva is one of the best red wines in the world; shows so much elegance and richness. Medium ruby color, very appealing aroma, red and some black fruits, fine depth and style; medium bodied, textured on the palate; red fruit, dried leaves; long finish, firms up well in the aftertaste. (Tasted: November 6, 2015, San Francisco, CA)
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
It is a Rioja that mixes the traditional and modern character with ripe fruit and contains oak aromas that are quite spicy and have some toast and smoke that should integrate with a bit of time in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied, has clean flavors that are balanced with sweet tannins. This is easy to drink, pleasant but not banal, and delivers a lot for its price. An impressive half-million bottles are produced of this wine, which is sold as Crianza in Spain and as Reserva in the rest of the world. Year after year, one of the most reliable and affordable Reservas. Rating: 91+
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Savory, almost mulled plum and berry aromas introduce a flush, dense, slightly syrupy palate with hefty, ripe flavors of fig, black plum, spice and chocolate. Ripe black-fruit notes carry the finish on this Riserva. Interestingly, this includes 20% Garnacha along with 70% Tempranillo and small amounts of Mazuelo and Graciano. Drink through 2020.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Smoky, tarry notes frame plum, loamy earth and mineral flavors in this savory red. Tart acidity enlivens the plush texture, while firm tannins keep this focused.
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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.

MNS30149125_2011 Item# 143072