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Bodegas Muriel Gran Reserva 2001

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • RP91
13% ABV
  • JS93
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Bodegas Muriel Gran Reserva has a medium ruby-brick color. Aromatic explosion of fine oak (vanilla, fine herb and spices), very mature fruit such as raisins, as well as caramel and subtle bottle ageing sensations (leather and tobacco). These aromas become more intense and complex as the wine begins to breathe. On the palate the wine is perfectly assembled, full of velvet silkiness. A classic Rioja that is only produced in superior vintages.

Ideal with all types of grilled and roasted meats. It also matches well with strong fish and all kind of cured cheeses. Tasty with chocolate desserts and puddings.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2001 Muriel Gran Reserva, also from a superb vintage, was aged in French and American oak for 30 months followed by 3 years in bottle prior to release. It offers up a splendid, subtly sexy perfume of Asian spices, leather, incense, a hint of balsamic, and cherry. Elegant and satin-textured, this impeccably balanced, lengthy effort will continue to drink well for another 10 years.
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Bodegas Muriel

Bodegas Muriel

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Bodegas Muriel, Rioja, Spain
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Bodegas Muriel was founded in 1982, when Julian Murua revived his father's (Jose Murua) winery, which dates back to 1926 in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa (one of the three sub-regions that make up Spain's Rioja appellation). The cellars are in the quaint, historic village of Elciego, which is renowned for being surrounded by some of the best "terrior" in Rioja.

The name "Muriel" comes from the combination of the family name (Murua) and the name of the town itself (Elciego). Today, Julian and his son Javier run the winery with the mission to meld the long-held winemaking traditions of the region with new technologies and techniques in order to make wines that express the "best qualities" of the grapes coming from these fertile Riojan vineyards.

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.

CWC709547_2001 Item# 124179