2004 Bodegas Muga "Selección Especial" Tempranillo Reserva Rioja

SKU #1047638 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2004 Muga Reserva Seleccion Especial is deep crimson-colored. Dense and packed, it offers up aromas of cedar, spice box, mineral, pencil lead, and assorted black fruits. It nicely conceals enough structure for 6-8 years of evolution. This lengthy effort should drink well through 2030.  (2/ 2008)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated ruby color. Oak-spiced raspberry and boysenberry aromas are complemented by smoky minerals, pipe tobacco and incense. Broad and fleshy in the mouth, displaying impressively concentrated red and dark berry liqueur flavors and a late note of candied licorice. A strong cherry-vanilla quality lingers on the long, sappy finish. Extremely impressive Rioja, deftly balancing energy and power.  (10/ 2008)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Ripe black fruit flavors mingle with espresso, anise and mint notes in this bold red. Firm tannins support a thick texture; there's plenty of oak and alcohol, but enough acidity for balance. Best from 2009 through 2020.  (9/ 2008)

Jancis Robinson

 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 10% Mazuelo and Graciano. Calcareous clay and alluvial soils. Vines 35 years old, yield 34hl/ha. 36 months in new oak barriques and a minimum of 12 months in bottle. After fermentation, maceration takes place for two to three weeks. The wine is then aged in oak and clarified with fresh egg whites. Suitable for vegetarians. Much darker and denser colour, overall darker than the ORO and more restrained. Complex aromas as it opens up in the glass - dark damson fruit, a little raisined in its sweetness, pepper and delicate spice and a leathery texture. Still quite grippy so better with food just now. 17/20 points. (JH)  (10/ 2008)

K&L Notes

Situated in the famous 'Barrio de la estacion' in Haro, Muga counts amongst its neighbors La Rioja Alta and Lopez de Heredia - formidable company indeed. Nevertheless, Muga continues to live up to its reputation for producing authentic, top-notch Riojas that both classicists and modernists can appreciate. Think of this 'reserva seleccion especial' bottling as sort of a reserva plus. It's fermented with native yeasts in large American oak foudres, aged for 30 months in a mixture of American and French barriques, and then rests in bottle for another 12 months. Produced from 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 10% Mazuelo and Graciano, this wine is absolutely gran reserva level quality. In fact, it has loads more character, appeal and ageability than most commercial gran reservas, as well as that typical Muga richness and texture which make for a truly memorable Rioja.

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Price: $39.99

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Varietal:

Tempranillo

- 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 Penčdes 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.
Country:

Spain

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Rioja