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Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva 2010

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • JS96
  • D96
  • WE94
  • RP93
  • WW93
  • WS91
14% ABV
  • JS95
  • JS95
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • WS95
  • WE93
  • WS92
  • RP91
  • WS93
  • WE92
  • RP94
  • WS92
  • RP90
  • RP90
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4.1 29 Ratings
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4.1 29 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

You can find good, even depth of color with purple glints right in the heart of the glass without the least sign of oxidation. Its nose preserves the character which defines this harvest: the fruit a rung below the dominant ripeness which mingles with hints of liqueurs which you can only find in this wine and not in the rest of the range from the same vintage. The tertiary aromas come through in the form of leather and very faint hints of cloves and mountain herbs. It is on the palate that it reveals its greatest strengths: fruit you can almost chew, soft, silky tannin, a good level of acidity and infinite mineral nuances. The synergy of these sensations creates a really powerful impact on the taster. The features detected in direct olfaction are repeated in retro-olfaction, but almost in reverse order. The fruit, now a little riper, comes to the fore, the spices from the oak and the mountain herbs rise to the same level and the hints of liqueur disappear.
Only 900 cases produced.

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

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 96
James Suckling
A round and silky red with deep and rich fruit and floral aromas. Wet earth too. Full-bodied, racy and beautiful. True Rioja. This comes from older vines of tempranillo with an average age of 20 years or more. Maceration is a little longer. Six months in new French oak and then 24 months in old French and American oak barrels. One and a half years in bottle.
D 96
Decanter
Only made in very good years, such as 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010, this displays the more modern face of Muga, with 90% French oak and dense, powerful fruit flavours of black fig and plum, with plenty of smoky vanilla sweetness and the acidity and structure to age.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Tight as a drum on the nose, this rambunctious Rioja is throbbing with blackberry, plum and floral aromas. Intense and staunch on the palate, with plum, raspberry, cherry, herb and chocolate flavors, this runs long on the finish, with power and acidity to spare. Hold until 2017, then drink through 2035.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Reserva Selección Especial is always the most food-oriented of their reds, a blend similar to the one found in the Reserva, 65% Tempranillo with some 20% Garnacha, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo, but here the grapes are sourced from older vineyards in higher-altitude terraces where there are poorer soils and the grapes have an extra degree of freshness. The wine is also aged for longer in barrel and it's slightly marked by toast aromas, but the bright fruit underneath is quite pure, and comes through very recognizable as Rioja. A second bottle showed fresher (the cork on the first one was a bit dry), even brighter and more transparent fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins that would benefit from some more time in bottle and have a long life ahead. There is very good acidity and fine balance. It's a wine that is perfect for the table. A great Selección Especial. 200,000 bottles produced. 93+
WW 93
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
So what is it with these fancy Riojas? Rich, rustic and resolute. For so long, many of these wines have pushed the limit on American oak aging. Now, I have been a Muga fan for at least three decades. Never boring and often pretty incredible, I have to admit I struggled with the 2010 Selección Especial a bit. Now all I can think of is pairing this wine with a slow-roasted leg of lamb accented with rosemary and a few other savory herbs. Medium to quite deep in color; exotic in the aroma, red and black fruit, sweet earth and dust, oh and some oak too, pretty lavish; medium bodied, generous on the palate, almost layered; rich and long with bright ripe fruit flavors, active and complex; long finish, juicy aftertaste. (Tasted: March 31, 2016, San Francisco, CA)
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Lively, tart acidity gives this bright red a lip-smacking character, driving the berry, licorice and citrus flavors through the racy palate. Light, firm tannins provide ballast. Distinctive and food-friendly. Drink now through 2020. 1,000 cases made.
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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.

HNYBMARSL10C_2010 Item# 136918