From: Rioja, Spain
Blend: 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 7% Mazuelo and 3% Graciano
94 points James Suckling. This was the only red that Muga made in 2018, and the wines from the best vineyards went into the blend. In other words, top vineyards were declassified. Medium-bodied with very fine tannins that are caressing and refined. Plenty of subtle berries, chocolate and walnuts. Tempranillo with garnacha, mazuelo and graciano. (8/2021)
91 points Jeb Dunnuck. The 2018 Muga Reserva is a similar blend and has pretty, slightly fresher notes of darker, almost blue fruits as well as violets, spring flowers, and cedary oak. More medium-bodied on the palate, it shows the fresher, elegant style of the vintage, has beautiful tannins, no hard edges, and outstanding length on the finish.
Quite simply, Muga is a benchmark in Rioja. Featuring a combination of owned and contracted vineyards in Rioja Alta, many of which are in higher elevation locales, and employing a vinification in oak uprights followed by patient elevage in barrels, these wines faithfully represent traditional Rioja Alta style, year after year. 93 Points Tim Atkin MW"Textbook stuff from the Mugas, this is a pan-regional assemblage of Tempranillo with 30% Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano. Youthful, structured and refreshing, it's the kind of Reserva that will reward cellaring but will be drunk too young. Textured and balanced with racy acidity and flavours of liquorice, blackberry and vanilla.
Taste: The 2018 Muga Reserva Rioja has a beautiful deep ruby-red color with a garnet rim. The nose is intense and complex, revealing elegant and dark fruits that almost edge toward blue, which are joined by aromas and flavors of cedar, vanilla and licorice, with subtle hints of chocolate and spice.
Pairing: The 2018 Muga Reserva Rioja is a versatile wine that pairs well with a variety of dishes. Its medium body and fine tannins make it an excellent match for grilled meats, stews, and roasted vegetables. Here are some pairing options:
* Almost any kind of lamb dish from roast lamb to tender lamb cutlets grilled over vine clippings (a local favourite in the region) to slow braised lamb shanks or even a rogan josh. Shepherds pie, Lancashire hotpot, merguez (check out , moussaka . . . It’s hard to think of a lamb dish that doesn’t work with rioja.
* Many pork dishes especially cooked Spanish style with beans. Chorizo and morcilla (black pudding) are both good pairings for younger riojas as are jamon (ham) and albondigas (meatballs) making red rioja a good match for more robust tapas.
* Dishes with red peppers and/or pimenton or paprika
* Almost any kind of mild or medium-hot dish with chillies like chilli con carne and other chiles. (Rioja suits south-west American food and American barbecue)
* Dishes with saffron such as paella or Moroccan tagines - including, surprisingly, chicken with preserved lemon and olives and Mediterranean-style fish stews
By Melissa Clark
About. Over the years as Bodegas Muga has gained worldwide recognition for its outstanding wines it holds on to the spirit of a family-run company. They carefully control every step of the viticultural and vinification process from the vineyards to making their own barrels and fermenting and aging the wine entirely in oak. Muga is one of only six estates in the world that owns its own cooperage and they import the oak directly from the United States and France. Founded in 1932 by Isaac Muga and Aurora Caño, Bodegas Muga is one of the oldest and most traditional producers in Rioja. The first wines were made in an underground cellar, until in 1968 they decided to set up their own winery in a beautiful old 19th-century town-house situated in the city of Haro.
Their 2018 Reserva is a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 7% Mazuelo and 3% Graciano that are fermented with indigenous yeasts in oak vats. The wine aged for 26 months in casks made in the winery with their own cooperage from selected new French oak. Before bottling the wine is fined with fresh egg whites. Once bottled it ages in bottle for at least twelve months in their cellars before release.
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