2011 Bodegas Muga Torre Muga

Year: 2011
Appellation: Rioja
Country: Spain
Wine Advocate: 95
Vinous Media: 93
James Suckling: 94
Wine Enthusiast: 96
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :


"The Mugas are happy with the 2011 harvest. The 2011 Torre Muga is a dark-colored, almost opaque, ripe and concentrated effort. (It contains the Tempranillo that would normally be part of the Aro, and was not produced because they didn't get the Graciano they needed.) They are selling this very young (but still, it will not be released until around September 2015). It is quite heady with aromas of ripe plums, spices, lead pencil, ink and well-integrated oak. The palate is full-bodied, round and lush with plenty of dense and concentrated tannins that feel very young. If you have in mind the Torre Muga from the beginning, this has a lot less oak and is less extracted; it has much better balance. As usual, it's a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo and others, from a very cold zone close to the Oja-Tirón rivers, which might explain why this wine is so fresh in such warm vintage. There will be no Torre Muga in 2012 or 2013, and possibly very little 2014. So stock up on this if you want a wine like it, because it will keep and develop well in bottle. 32,000 bottles produced.

The Muga wines are going from strength to strength. There's no Aro in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and 2014 is still starting malolactic and they don't know if the quality will be there. So if you like this cuvée look for previous vintages, as there won't be any new ones available for a while. It's a wine with plenty of Graciano, a grapes that does not ripen properly every vintage. I also included here their sparkling rosé produced at the winery from grapes grown within the limits of Rioja, but belonging to the Cava appellation. The highlight of the current portfolio is the 2006 vintage of Prado Enea." (WA)

"Opaque ruby. Powerful aromas of black and blue fruits, vanilla, incense and candied flowers are complicated by smoke and minerals. Broad, fleshy and appealingly sweet, offering intense boysenberry and cherry-vanilla flavors that tighten up slowly on the back half. Rich yet vibrant Rioja with superb finishing clarity and smooth tannins arriving late to frame the wine's plush, sweet fruit. After fermentation and six months of aging in large French oak vats this wine was moved into small new French oak casks for another 18 months before bottling." (VM)

"Dark colored with very intense aromas of wet earth, stone and blueberries. Full-bodied, structured and powerful. A little extracted yet interesting and intense. Tannic. 24 months in new fresh oak barrels. This has 70% tempranillo and the rest is graciano and marciano. Needs more time to soften. Better in 2017." (JS)

"Concentrated, ripe and pure on the nose, this is toasty smelling and intense, with notes of charcoal, cassis and blackberry. A grabby, extracted but balanced and impressive palate holds flavors of coffee, toasty oak, bitter chocolate and wild berries. The finish tastes savory and fully oaked, but not overdone. Hold a few years, then drink through 2026." (WE)

Winery Notes:
75% Tempranillo, 15% Mazuelo and 10% Graciano.

Clay/Calcareous and Alluvial.

This wine is aged for 6 months in wooden vats, 18 months in new French oak barrels and at least 12 months in bottle.

The wine faithfully expresses the climatology that prevailed during the vintage, showing itself to be balanced and very juicy. Its easy-drinking character and “good manners” surprise you, even when you remember that it is only three years’ old and it is from a zone which usually needs more bottle time. That said, you can make allowance for the occasional rough edges on the palate which are of little importance and will round themselves off very quickly. The nose is attractive with fresher fruit than we are used to find in this wine. Very precise balance between red berry fruit and oaky spiciness which have still not fully integrated. The aromas show marked dimorphism.

On the one hand, the fruit is complex, difficult to pin down, and on the other we have very clearly defined spices: black pepper, cloves, vanilla and a little charcoal. In the back of the nasal cavity the spiciness dominates, a little drier, but more elegant and much richer in nuances. The fruit only returns after a few seconds in the aftertaste where we again find the red berries and something which seems similar to peaches and ripe plums.

In appearance it is rather more reddish than purple at the rim suggesting excellent acidity, boding well for the future.