2005 Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva Seleccion Especial

Year: 2005
Appellation: Rioja
Country: Spain
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 93
Vinous Media: 93
Red Wine
Price :
$34.95
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"Balanced and elegant, this lovely red exhibits fresh black fruit flavors that are supported by ripe tannins and lively acidity, with notes of mineral, licorice and tar adding complexity. This isn't a blockbuster, but it's complete. Drink now through 2015. 2,000 cases imported." (WS)

"The 2005 Muga Reserva Seleccion Especial is the identical cepage but sourced from older vineyards and aged longer in barrel. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it offers up an alluring perfume of sandalwood, pencil lead, incense, espresso, black cherry, and blackberry. Dense, rich, structured, and savory, on the palate spice notes and terroir aromas make an appearance leading to a pure, 45-second finish. It will offer a drinking window extending from 2015 to 2035." (WA)

"($43; 70% tempranillo, 20% garnacha and 10% mazuelo and graciano) Bright ruby. Sexy, oak-spiced aromas of cherry cola and black raspberry, with notes of coconut and baking spices that gain power with air. A fleshy, smooth texture combines with deep dark fruit flavors that show a surprisingly light touch. Packs a solid touch but comes off almost weightless, finishing with excellent clarity and sweet persistence. This drinks very well now but will age on its balance." (IWC)

"COMPLEX, LONG LIVED TEMPRANILLO FOR $39.95 2005 MUGA RIOJA SELECCION ESPECIAL, Estate Btld.-Riserva

I served this $39.95 ’05 Muga Rioja special selection along side the $10.95 Tempranillo mentioned above to my Saturday wine lunch bunch. It was a fascinating and revealing comparison. Everyone said that the Muga was certainly a more complex, well-knit wine with a longer deeper finish. Yet, everyone felt that when you take into consideration the price difference between the two (a ration of nearly 4 to 1), both wines were winners and worth owing, with the $10.95 Mazzaro for present con¬sumption and the Muga Seleccion to lay away as it will continue to improve for maybe a decade and keep well for another 10 years after that.

In describing this wine I can no better then para¬phrase the Parker reviewer who rated the wine a 93 and said, “The 2005 Muga Reserva Seleccion Especial is a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha (Grenache),, and the balance Mazuelo and Graciano, all from older vineyards and aged longer in barrel then Mugas other Reserve wines. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it offers up an alluring perfume of sandalwood, pencil lead, incense, espresso, black cherry, and blackberry. Dense, rich, structured, and savory, on the palate spice notes and terroir aromas make an appearance leading to a pure, 45-second finish. It will offer a drinking window extending from 2015 to 2035.”

Regular price is around $45 to over $50 a bottle.

RATING: 92/94

PRICE: $39.95 **bargain

WHERE: Los Angeles Wine Co.

(Martin's Guide to Wine Bargains)

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.