Bodegas Muga Torre Muga 2016
The jewel of La Rioja.
Bodegas Muga Torre Muga is balanced and full, a great representation of the artisan work and experience of Bodegas Muga.
Dense red with purple hues along the rim. The ripe black fruit bouquet has layers of spicy black pepper, woodland herbs and a balsamic touch. The full-bodied palate has a seamless texture, perfectly integrated oak, juice tannins and a nice sharp acidity. Cassis, blackberry and black plum flavours mix with graphite, pepper, liquorice, rosemary herbs and smokey notes. These flavours create a harmony and balance that sees no rival. A very persistent, elegant, enjoyable and approachable wine.
75% Tempranillo, 15% Mazuelo and 10% Graciano. The grapes come from 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. Natural and spontaneous fermentation in oak vats without temperature control. The wine then 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.
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AWARDS & ACCOLADES
– 99 POINTS
Even better than the magical 2015, the 2016 Torre Muga offers a thrilling bouquet of cassis and assorted pure dark fruits, lead pencil, graphite, white flowers, and spice-laced aromas and flavors. While this cuvée is always thought of as the most modern in the lineup, it’s far from it and has integrated oak, flawless balance, sweet tannins, and a gorgeous finish. It’s beautifully done and just a thrilling bottle of Rioja that’s going to evolve for 20-30 years or more.
The purity of fruit to this is very, very intriguing with blackberries, graphite, and charcoal. Full-bodied. It radiates intense fruit with perfectly polished tannins. Subtle asphalt and blue fruit. Very long and beautiful. Racy. Tempranillo with graciano and mazuelo. Needs two to four years of bottle age. Try after 2021.
– 97 POINTS
Torre Muga is the most “international” in style of the bodega’s reds – controversially so when it was first released in 1991 – and is a cuvée of Tempranillo with 20% Mazuelo and Graciano, aged in 100% new French wood. Using fruit from the “magic triangle” between Villalba, Haro and Labastida, it’s plush, aromatic and finely judged with subtle wood, violet top notes, sculpted tannins and the depth and concentration to age. 2022-35
I tasted a super young 2016 Torre Muga that had only been in bottle for some four months. But even so, the year seems to be approachable and open. Even if the wine has concentration and power, it has great balance and freshness. And it’s drinkable now, even if it’s going to get polished with some more time in bottle, where it should have a long life. This was the most modern of the wines in the portfolio, but I think the modern and traditional styles have been converging over the years, and nowadays there is not a huge difference between them. And for its age, it feels quite round, and it doesn’t have edges or any harsh tannins; the oak is present but it’s neatly integrated in the wine. It has to be one of the finest vintages for Torre Muga.
– 96 POINTS
Brilliant violet. Intense, spice-tinged cherry, boysenberry and vanilla scents display outstanding clarity and pick up smoky mineral and floral accents with air. Juicy and seamless in texture, showing excellent depth as well as energy to the red and blue fruit liqueur, spice cake and floral pastille flavors, which demonstrate impressive definition and back-end lift. Finishes extremely long and precise, with an echo of sweet dark berries and deftly woven tannin’s that add gentle grip. Drinking window: 2023 – 2033
This bold red is assertive, yet holds power in reserve. A thick texture, supported by muscular tannins, supports ripe flavors of currant, fig, cocoa, loamy earth and tar. Concentrated, but remains harmonious. Impressive, in the modern style. Best from 2022 through 2036.
– 95 POINTS
The Muga family selects tempranillo (75 percent), mazuelo and garnacha for this wine from their oldest vineyards in Villalba. They allow it to ferment spontaneously in wooden vats and age it in French oak barrels. And they ended up with a beautiful 2016, its generosity beginning with the sweet scent of pipe tobacco, that nostalgic smokiness opening to a wine that’s overtly floral, as if covered in rose petals, a sensual richness rising off the fruit depths of plum skins, currants and cranberries. While the wine feels gentle, the flavors continue to crescendo, drawing you in for more.