Bodegas Muga Rioja Blanco 2019
Pleasing for all, from the uninitiated to the purists.
Bodegas Muga Rioja Blanco is a barrel-fermented white Rioja that is worlds away from the old-fashioned style of oxidised wine. It is light, fresh and very drinkable.
Bright straw-yellow colour. Intense, complex bouquet of white flowers and jasmine florals with notes of lemon citrus and apple peel. The seductive full-bodied palate offers a soft and creamy mouthfeel that pairs beautifully with its striking minerality. Ripe sensations of clean apple, white peach, lemon zest, grapefruit with vanilla and slight toasted nuances. Closes with a lively, crisp finish that will have you constantly reaching for that next sip!
90% Viura and 10% Malvasia. The grapes for this wine are grown in calcareous clay and alluvial soils in La Rioja Alta, some of the highest vineyards in Rioja.
After harvesting by hand, the grapes arrive at the winery in 200kg crates by refrigerated lorries. Light maceration of the must with skins in the press. Fermentation takes place in wooden vats and new, lightly-toasted French oak casks made with wood from the Nevers region. The wine then ages in the same casks for a further 3 months with stirring of the fine lees twice a week. This stirring keeps the lees in contact with the wine and protects it from oxygen while providing a smooth mouthfeel and additional complexity.
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AWARDS & ACCOLADES
A layered, fruity white with sliced cooked lemon and some apple. Hints of hot stones. It’s full-bodied and dense with plenty of fruit.
– 92 POINTS
The 2019 Blanco is terrific, with a fresh, crisp, yet still textured and concentrated style. Lots of crushed citrus, white flowers, white grapefruit, and a touch of minerality all define the bouquet, and it’s beautifully balanced, with bright acidity and clean, dry finish.
A thick texture carries juicy flavors of apple, pineapple and grapefruit, with light anise and vanilla notes. Round yet firm, staying fresh through the spicy finish.
– 90 POINTS
The 2019 Blanco fermented in new French oak barrels (60%) and in small oak vats and was kept with lees for three months, a change they started in 2016, giving it more time with lees and bottling it a little later. This is not light; it’s 13.6% alcohol, but it keeps very good freshness and very healthy acidity with less oak than in the past. This was a bit reductive and took some time to open up. It’s balanced and has integrated oak. It was a good year for Garnacha Blanca, and it represents almost 15% of the blend this year. So, it’s a little more Mediterranean than 2018.
– 90 POINTS