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Flat front label of wine

Bodegas Muga Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2011

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • RP91
0% ABV
  • RP91
  • JS92
  • JS93
  • RP91
  • D93
  • WS90
  • RP91
  • W&S91
  • D91
  • 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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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+
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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 and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. 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 high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least 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, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing 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 system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

MNS30149125_2011 Item# 143072