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Bodegas Muriel Reserva 2005

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

The Bodegas Muriel Reserva is a clear, ruby red color, with good intensity, boasts a perfect blend between intense fruit aromas, like strawberries and blueberries, and vanilla, balsamic scents and spices, due to fine oak maturation. The palate is round, velvety and mouthfilling, with a very long, satisfying finish.

Ideal all type of grilled and roasted meats. It also matches well with strong fish and all kind of cured cheeses. Or, with tasty with chocolate desserts and puddings.

Critical Acclaim

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

The 2005 Muriel Reserva was aged in French and American oak for 24 months followed by 2 years of bottle aging prior to release. Medium ruby red in color, it displays a similar but more complex bouquet than the Crianza. Nicely developed traditional Rioja aromas are followed by a medium-bodied, smooth-textured, dense wine with plenty of savory fruit, a firm underpinning, and plenty of length. It is likely to evolve for several years and is a good candidate to see its 20th birthday.

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Bodegas Muriel

Bodegas Muriel

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Bodegas Muriel, , Spain
Bodegas Muriel
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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

RPT1438396_2005 Item# 118451

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