2009 Bodegas Muga "Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja
*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
(70% tempranillo, 20% garnacha, 7% mazuelo and 3% garciano; aged for 28 months in small oak barrels) 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.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Seleccion Especial is sourced from the same blend of 70% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacho (they use the masculine form of the name here), 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo as the Reserva and also from the same zone in the confluence of the Oja and Ebro rivers selected from the geologically older plots, usually in higher terraces where the vines are at least 30 years old. Fermentation is carried out in oak vats and aged in barriques for twenty eight months, initially in new barrels and then transferred to used ones. This is more backward and closed than the Reserva, with a more subtle and elegant nose, a tighter palate, with fine-grained tannins, pungent flavors and great acidity and length. The Reserva’s big brother. 240,000 bottles produced. Drink 2015-2024. I think the Muga family wines have been going from strength to strength and they are offering superbly-crafted wines from their cellars in the Barrio de la Estacion in Haro. I’ve seen a big change in Prado Enea starting with the 2004 vintage. As it happens, some of their wines are selling faster than they are produced (as they are not necessarily offered in every vintage) and they had no Prado Enea to show. The next vintage will be 2006, but there will be none in 2007 or 2008 and they need to fill the gap until the 2009 is released. The vintage of Torre Muga and Aro on the market is already 2010. There’s no stainless steel whatsoever at Muga, they have kept true to their beliefs, and all their wines are fermented in oak
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 $35, 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)