2016 Bodegas Muga Torre Muga

Year: 2016
Appellation: Rioja
Country: Spain
Wine Spectator: 95
Wine Advocate: 96
James Suckling: 98
Jeb Dunnuck: 99
Tim Atkin: 97
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.6%
Price :
$89.95
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AWESOME JUICE!!

"This bold red is assertive, yet holds power in reserve. A thick texture, supported by muscular tannins, supports ripe flavors of currant, fig, cocoa, loamy earth and tar. Concentrated, but remains harmonious. Impressive, in the modern style. Best from 2022 through 2036. 3,000 cases made, 400 cases imported. -TM" (WS)

"I tasted a super young 2016 Torre Muga that had only been in bottle for some four months. But even so, the year seems to be approachable and open. Even if the wine has concentration and power, it has great balance and freshness. And it's drinkable now, even if it's going to get polished with some more time in bottle, where it should have a long life. This was the most modern of the wines in the portfolio, but I think the modern and traditional styles have been converging over the years, and nowadays there is not a huge difference between them. And for its age, it feels quite round, and it doesn't have edges or any harsh tannins; the oak is present but it's neatly integrated in the wine. It has to be one of the finest vintages for Torre Muga. 36,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in early 2019.

Muga own close to 350 hectares of vineyards, as they think that even if you pay very high prices for grapes, you don't get the same quality as you get from your own vineyards. Some ten years ago, they had maybe 130 or 140 hectares of vineyards, and they are going to continue buying quality vineyards when they become available. So, they have increased their vineyards but production is stable.

2018 has been a variable vintage, with enough water and a tendency for high yields that they control, but they will probably produce Crianza/Reserva and perhaps Selección Especial, so no Torre Muga, Prado Enea or Aro. In 2017, they only produced their Crianza/Reserva. They are very happy with 2015 and 2016, even if they are different." (WA)

"The purity of fruit to this is very, very intriguing with blackberries, graphite, and charcoal. Full-bodied. It radiates intense fruit with perfectly polished tannins. Subtle asphalt and blue fruit. Very long and beautiful. Racy. Tempranillo with graciano and mazuelo. Needs two to four years of bottle age. Try after 2021." (JS)

"Even better than the magical 2015, the 2016 Torre Muga offers a thrilling bouquet of cassis and assorted pure dark fruits, lead pencil, graphite, white flowers, and spice-laced aromas and flavors. While this cuvée is always thought of as the most modern in the lineup, it's far from it and has integrated oak, flawless balance, sweet tannins, and a gorgeous finish. It's beautifully done and just a thrilling bottle of Rioja that's going to evolve for 20-30 years or more." (JD)

"Torre Muga is the most 'international' in style of the bodega's reds - controversially so when it was first released in 1991 - and is a cuvée of Tempranillo with 20% Mazuelo and Graciano, aged in 100% new French wood. Using fruit from the 'magic triangle' between Villalba, Haro and Labastida, it's plush, aromatic and finely judged with subtle wood, violet top notes, sculpted tannins and the depth and concentration to age. 2022-35. (2020)" -Tim Atkin, MW

Winery Notes:
GRAPES:
80% Tempranillo, 10% Mazuelo and 10% Graciano.

SOIL:
Clay/Calcareous and Alluvial.

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

TASTING:
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.