2019 Bodegas Muga Rioja Rosado

Year: 2019
Appellation: Rioja
Country: Spain
Wine Advocate: 90
James Suckling: 90
Jeb Dunnuck: 90
Rose Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Price :
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"The 2019 Rosado was produced mainly with grapes from the Alto Najerilla zone of Rioja, where the soils have a mix of clay, limestone and iron that give them an intense red color. The must fermented in small oak vats for 15 to 20 days at 16 to 18 degrees Celsius and was kept with lees that were worked for three months before bottling. It has a similar profile as the white, slightly reductive at first and then opening up after some time in the glass. It's tender and sleek, with integrated acidity and clean flavors with a pleasant bitter twist in the finish. It's a blend of Garnacha and Viura plus whatever grapes might be in the old vineyards in the Najerilla zone. This is a cuvée of 300,000 bottles.

This time I only tasted eight wines from Muga ... and only two were red! They have a new top-of-the-range white in the Flor de Muga brand, so that's two whites and two rosés, plus the two sparkling wines. So, Muga is not only red! They didn't produce Prado Enea in 2012 or 2013, so the following vintage will be 2014, and with Torre Muga and Aro, there's no 2017 or 2018, so we'll have to wait until the 2019s are released... The last few vintages have been quite challenging, and in 2017, they only produced one red, the Reserva/Crianza.

Little has to be explained about Muga, which is a family firm in Haro that produces close to two million bottles per year that are aged in 14,000 barrels in their winery in the Barrio de la Estación. The family has a new initiative, a separate operation for a more informal Crianza with more Garnacha and in concrete... The first wines from this new project will be from 2018, but the wines were not yet ready for me to taste." (WA)

"Pleasant watermelon, pink-guava and peach character with some citrus. It’s medium-bodied with good fruit and a fresh finish. Macabeo, grenache and tempranillo. Drink now." (JS)

"This estate always turns out a classy rosé and the 2019 Rosado is no exception. Based largely on Grenache with 30% Viura and 10% Tempranillo, its light pink color is followed by attractive notes of wild strawberries, white peach, and flowers. It's medium-bodied, seamless, and beautifully balanced, and has a good mix of both richness and freshness. Enjoy this outstanding rosé over the coming 6-12 months." (JD)

Winery Notes:
60% Garnacha, 30% Viura and 10% Tempranillo.

Clay/Calcareous and Alluvial.

After about twelve hours macerating with the grape skins, the wine ferments for 25 days in small, 1000 litre wooden vats, which is where it is kept for 2 months before being bottled.

It had been a promising vintage until September came along with abundant rainfall and unusually high temperatures which led to problems of grape rot of a kind which had not been seen for many years. In many vineyard plots we had to discard 50% of the fruit. Never before had so much of the harvest passed along the selection table and we had to organise shifts so as to work 20 hours per day. The result was excellent thanks to the response of our brilliant team.

In the Valley we use the slopes of the Obarenes mountains for growing the garnacha grapes which we blend in our reds. These slopes have good ripening thanks to their exposure to the sun but in the case of the rosé wines we need to plant on just the opposite facing slope, the one most hidden from direct sunlight and where the cooler temperatures allow us to preserve the fresh, sharp fruit taste.

Very light in colour, mainly pale salmon with orange glints and a bright sheen.

On the nose the wine proves more mature than you might expect for the vintage. The acid fruit is less citrus in character and, in this vintage, ripe peach and pineapple aromas come through more strongly.

Full, supple mouth-feel thanks to the time spent on fine lees, adding hints of baker’s shop aromas. The typical acidity of this wine is perfectly balanced to give an overall smooth taste. The aftertaste and retronasal phases are dominated by velvety smooth, yet fresh, sharp peach leaving a lovely final sensation which makes you want to try more.