2009 Bodegas Muga "Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1145836 95 points Wine Spectator

 *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.  (9/2013)

93 points 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.  (10/2013)

K&L Notes

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)

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Price: $39.99
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- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.