2009 Bodegas Muga "Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja (Pre-Arrival)
*Highly Recommended* Powerful yet harmonious, this rich red delivers black cherry, licorice, fresh herb, smoke and mineral flavors that mingle seamlessly over firm, well-integrated tannins, while balsamic-tinged acidity drives the flavors through the long, spicy finish. Drink now through 2025.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Opaque ruby. Sexy, oak-spiced aromas of red- and blackcurrant, cherry and vanilla, with a bright floral accent. Lush and palate-staining, offering intense dark berry preserve and cherry-cola flavors that become spicier with air. Deep and rich but surprisingly lively, finishing with impressive energy and floral persistence.
The 2009 Reserva Selección especial is one of the best young Muga wines I have ever tasted. Here is a quick bit of "inside baseball" for you: While Muga makes a terrific Reserva wine that they market as such in North America, that wine is actually labelled as "Crianza" in Spain. It is aged more than long enough to be called a Reserva, but it is the Reserva Selección Especial that is actually bottled as the Reserva in Spain. This special selection is from Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano grown in higher elevation, more calcareous vineyards, which are then harvested later--in the case of 2009, into the second week of November! As a result, the wine is richer with a more intense purplish color, but also possessing greater fruit purity and multiple layers of flavor than the regular Reserva bottling. Blackberrries, an array of baking spices, violets, chalky minerality...all these come together in wonderful balance to create this wine. It's heady, primary and delicious now, though it will certainly repay many years, and likely up to a few decades, of cellaring. For under $40, I would be hard pressed to name a better value, more sure-fire red wine cellar candidate in our inventory than this wine. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)