Bodegas Muga Aro 2016
Bodegas Muga Aro is the winery’s top wine, one of the greatest modern wines from Rioja!
Intense, almost opaque black-cherry colour with purple hues. Unbelievable concentration and depth on the bouquet with a broad range of fruit, mineral and spice aromas. The full-bodied palate has a potent structure, stunning texture, firm yet elegant tannins and a splendid acidity. Full fruit flavours come to the fore, recalling red and black currants, ripe wild blackberries and strawberries. These fruit sensations pair with complementing notes of violet petals, graphite minerals, spicy cinnamon, black pepper and well-integrated oak. A solid and hearty red with great balance and a sensation of freshness. Closes with a long, full and elegant finish.
70% Tempranillo and 30% Graciano. The grapes come from 60-year-old vines in south-west facing plots on the foothills of the Obarene Mountains in the heart of Rioja Alta. The region’s distinctive climate, chalky-clay and alluvial soils, and old vines are the fundamental features for a wine of such high quality.
Manual harvesting of the grapes, then destemming and a cold maceration. Natural and spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts in small oak vats without temperature control. Following fermentation, the wine ages for 18 months in new French oak barrels and 6 months more in wooden vats. Before bottling, the wine goes through a light fining with fresh egg whites.
Check out other wines from Rioja we’ve got here!
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
I am speechless about this wine. It’s so deep and vertical with a stunning texture of super polished tannins and juicy acidity. Full body. Yet, it’s agile. Blackberries, black olives, chocolate, stone, cement and dried rosemary. Crazy wine. Blend of tempranillo and graciano. Release at the end of 2019. Better in 2024, but so great to taste young.
– 99 POINTS
In the same ballpark as the Torre Muga, the 2016 Aro (70% Tempranillo and 30% Graciano) is a magical wine that does everything right. Showing a slightly more classical style with less polished oak, it offers a massive bouquet of ripe black and blue fruits, candied violets, and exotic spices. Deep and full-bodied on the palate, it’s flawlessly balanced, has the purity and elegance of the vintage front and center, fabulous tannins, and a great, great finish. It’s approachable today (and most 2016s seem to have plenty of upfront charm) yet has the balance, concentration, and purity to evolve for 30 years or more.
– 98 POINTS
Only produced in what the Mugas consider to be the best vintages (2010, 2015 and now 2016 are the last three releases), this small production red is one of Spain’s greatest wines. Marrying Tempranillo with 30% Graciano for extra backbone, it’s layered, refined and deftly wooded with fennel and blackberry flavors, racy acidity, scented new French oak and remarkable balance and freshness. 2025-40
The most unusual and backward of the wines in the Muga portfolio is the Graciano-rich blend 2016 Aro, a blend of Tempranillo with 30% Graciano that is only produced when Graciano ripens properly. The grapes comes from a single vineyard that they now know quite well. 2016 was a good year for the grape, and the wine has notes of violets and dark chocolate, quite hedonistic and showy. The Graciano really lifts the Tempranillo, and the blend comes through as high pitched and vibrant, which is also the general style of the year from what I’ve seen. The oak is still present on the nose, and the palate shows quite tannic; the wine is going to benefit from a couple of years in bottle. If you like toasty, showy and hedonistic reds you could drink it now, but if you prefer more subtleness, you should wait for it.
– 96 POINTS
Deep, lurid violet. Hugely perfumed cherry, black currant and vanilla scents show outstanding clarity and pick up smoky mineral, oak spice and floral nuances with air. Juicy and seamless in texture, showing superb definition to intense black and blue fruit liqueur, spice cake and violet pastille flavors that smoothly blend depth and finesse. Delivers solid finishing cut, an echo of sweet dark berries and polished tannin’s that add gentle grip. Drinking window: 2024 – 2034
– 95 POINTS
If you’re looking for epic Rioja, you’ve come to the right place. This wine is the Muga family’s top selection of tempranillo (70 percent) and graciano, spontaneously fermented in small wooden vats, then aged in new French oak barrels. It gives an immediate impression of power when first poured, before its tough tannins and cold Spanish aloofness submit to the warmth of the cherry fruit, luscious and lasting for minutes. Muscular up front, deliciously ripe and generous in the end, this wine will hold firm for a decade or more as the complexity of its flavours builds.