Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva 2017
A masterclass in oak ageing.
Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva 2017 rewards you with wonderful ripe fruit sensitively enhanced by spicy new oak.
Medium ruby-red colour with brick highlights. Attractive blueberry, cherry, plum and forest berry fruit aromas with a hint of liquorice and chocolate. The medium-bodied palate offers a lovely balance of ripe red and black fruit with hints of chocolate and roasted coffee beans, silky tannins and a lingering finish.
Ageing potential: Drink now or cellar until 2030!
70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha Tinta and 10% Graciano. The grapes for this wine grow in clay-limestone soils from the Tertiary era.
Manual harvesting of the grapes. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts in oak vats. The wine ages for 24 months in casks made in Muga’s cooperage. Prior to bottling, the wine goes through fining with fresh egg white. After bottling, the wine undergoes a rounding process for 12 months in their cellar.
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AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Lovely, succulent red with juicy berries and plums, together with some chocolate, spice, walnut and cedar. It’s medium-bodied with round tannins and a flavorful finish. Touch of dried fruit in the center palate. A pretty combination of savory and fresh-fruit character. Some orange peel as well. A baby Prado Enea.
The red 2017 Reserva, which is sold as Crianza in Spain, is their most popular wine, representing half of the total production of the firm. As is the norm here, it fermented in oak vats and matured in barrels, in this case for 24 months, crafted by their own coopers. The wine is fined with egg whites and kept in bottle for a further 12 months before it’s released. I had the wine in the glass for a very long time, and it didn’t stop improving; it started a little lactic and creamy, and then it got more and more serious.
This is the only red they produced this vintage, so all the best grapes that normally go to other wines were used here; those selected grapes helped to keep the volume of this cuvée, and at the same time, it seems to have boosted the quality of this wine, which feels every bit as good as the 2016. It has a serious palate with fine, chalky tannins and very good balance. This is a textbook Muga red and a triumph over the conditions of the year, elegant and balanced, approachable now and with potential to age.
WILFRED WONG OF – 93 POINTS
After my 1993 visit to Bodegas Muga, I became a lifelong fan of the winery’s impressive body of work. The 2017 Reserve is superb from start to finish and is one of the best red wines I have tasted over the past two years. This wine has all of its components in the right place. TASTING NOTES: This wine exhibits excellent aromas and flavors of black fruit, complimentary oak nuances, and earth. Serve it with a mixed grilled and enjoy! (Tasted: March 21, 2021, San Francisco, CA)
– 91 POINTS