2011 Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva Seleccion Especial

Year: 2011
Appellation: Rioja
Country: Spain
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 92
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
Price :
$34.95

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"This red has a firm backbone and a solid texture, with harmonious flavors of plum, blackberry, licorice, cocoa and espresso. Concentrated yet graceful. Drink now through 2026. -T.M." (WS)

"The 2011 Reserva Selección Especial, from a warmer and drier year compared with the average (as well as the previous harvest), has a similar blend as the regular Muga Reserva; it is 65% Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo, and it was fermented in small vats with indigenous yeasts. The different varieties and grapes are fermented and aged separately, the first year in new oak and the second one in used barrels. 2011 is a powerful vintage for this cuvée, which now shows quite marked by toasty aromas. Warm vintages usually need longer in bottle to integrate the oak, but experience shows that it gets absorbed and in fact the evolution of this wine in bottle is very good. Even if the nose recommends to wait, the palate is very balanced, with remarkably ripe tannins for such warm year, which can sometime produce some harsh tannins. Not the case here, where the wine shows good elegance and balance. This is a very reliable cuvée, quite stable across vintages. 170,000 bottles produced.

There is no Torre Muga 2012 or 2013 and I only previewed the 2014, still unbottled and in its infancy. In the case of Prado Enea, they are skipping 2007 and 2008, and 2012 and 2013 will not be bottled either. As for the rare Aro, where they depend on the full ripeness of Graciano, the follow-up of the 2010 will be 2015. So I had few wines to taste at Muga in this occasion...." (WA)

Winery Notes:
It has a bright ruby-red colour with medium-high depth and a tendency towards purplish hues which indicate its excellent evolution in the bottle. The nose is characterised by a ripe fruit, with perhaps a predominance of wild red berries, perfectly blended with spices and balsamic ageing aromas. The strength of this wine lies in the wide range of registers within these aromatic sub-groups. We can detect cinnamon, liquorice, vanilla, cloves, coconut, black pepper, menthol… but all with a fresh character which makes them unique. In the mouth, the attack is warm, friendly, supple and velvety attack. It leaves a feeling of plentitude and an aftertaste which seems eternal in length and intensity and is characterised by rounded tannins and a complex mineral component. In the retronasal phase, the ripe fruit loses potency in favour of spices and balsamic sensations.