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Huge Press from a Legendary Estate - New Muga Releases - 03/14/2017 - Spain

Among one of the most prestigious and highly lauded estates in Spain is undeniably Bodegas Muga. With a long and rich history, Muga has an impeccable record of producing wines of the utmost quality with recent vintages being particularly noteworthy. On current release are two magnificent bottlings that will most certainly draw the attention of the casual drinker and seasoned collector alike. The 95-Point, "Selección Especial" Reserva and the 97-Point, "Prado Enea" Gran Reserva are both classic example of the heights Rioja can achieve. Stylistically Muga strikes that perfect balance between old world and new with a presentation that is at once sleek and fruit driven while also with engaging rustic touches. This interplay is beautifully on display in these most recent offerings. Equally remarkable as the wines themselves are their price - somehow Muga manages to produce world-class wines that cost a fraction of what one would pay for their counterparts in Bordeaux or Burgundy. Both the "Selección Especial" Reserva and the "Prado Enea" are immensely age-worthy wines that will offer years upon years to enjoyment, which makes the ideal candidates for a purchase of multiples. Muga’s wines are always a joy to return to as in the best vintages, such as these, their evolution is nothing short of breathtaking. Quantities are limited, especially in the case of the limited production "Prado Enea,” so don’t delay in picking up these highly rated gems.

Vintage Item Name Score Qty Retail Link
2011 Bodegas Muga "Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja 95 >48 $34.99 View
2009 Bodegas Muga "Prado Enea" Gran Reserva Rioja 97 >36 $59.99 View


2011 Bodegas Muga

2011 Bodegas Muga "Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja ($34.99)

95 points James Suckling: "A complex nose of dried strawberries with slate and white-truffle undertones. Hints of Spanish cedar. Full body, juicy tannins and bright acidity that follows through to a long, clean and earthy finish. A great wine that shows structure and complexity. Drink or hold." (12/2016)

93 points Vinous: "(aged for 26 months in French oak casks) Bright ruby. Fresh red berry, cherry, mocha and floral scents are complicated by suggestions of cola and vanilla. Intense black raspberry, bitter cherry and rose pastille flavors deepen and pick up a sweet hint of mocha on the back half. The lively, emphatically fruity, impressively long finish displays very good finishing clarity; dusty, firming tannins lend shape and gentle grip. (JR)" (01/2017)

93 points Wine Spectator: "This red has a firm backbone and a solid texture, with harmonious flavors of plum, blackberry, licorice, cocoa and espresso. Concentrated yet graceful, showing alluring mineral and floral notes on the finish. Drink now through 2026. (TM)" (03/2017)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Reserva Selección Especial, from a warmer and drier year compared with the average (as well as the previous harvest), has a similar blend as the regular Muga Reserva; it is 65% Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo, and it was fermented in small vats with indigenous yeasts. The different varieties and grapes are fermented and aged separately, the first year in new oak and the second one in used barrels. 2011 is a powerful vintage for this cuvée, which now shows quite marked by toasty aromas. Warm vintages usually need longer in bottle to integrate the oak, but experience shows that it gets absorbed and in fact the evolution of this wine in bottle is very good. Even if the nose recommends to wait, the palate is very balanced, with remarkably ripe tannins for such warm year, which can sometime produce some harsh tannins. Not the case here, where the wine shows good elegance and balance. This is a very reliable cuvée, quite stable across vintages. (LG)" (08/2016)

Alex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 17, 2017

Muga is one of the quintessential Rioja producers and this 2011 dishes up classic Tempranillo flavor in a style that should appeal to just about anyone. The balance of fruit, earth, fine tannins, and cocoa remind me of all the flavors I love in Cabernet as well, making the Muga a potential crossover Spanish option for California or Bordeaux lovers who want to try something new. You'll be impressed.

Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 07, 2017

This Muga offers up an incredible richness and expression and is in my opinion one of the best Riojas in the store. The palate and rich and fruity while the oak adds structure and depth to help round out the wine. The fruit is juicy and deep and is highlighted by some bright acidity that helps balance tannins. This wine has some great weight, not too ripe or grippy, but eloquent and striking. Don't miss this.

Rachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 07, 2017

I have a new obsession with Riojas and this Muga is bringing me in deeper. The prominent nose is filled with fresh red fruit, baking spice and dry earth. The smooth but impactful structure is elongated on the side palate with flavors that match the nose. A mix of dried herbs and deep, engulfing fruit adds a vivid strength to the finish. This is a gorgeous food wine that is easily enjoyed now!

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 06, 2017

Deeply concentrated nose of dark cherries, boysenberries, cedar, and stone. The palate is expansive, both bright and complex. It shows layered notes of cola, cherry, blueberry, mocha, cedar box, tremendous minerality and length. The finish is dry, with slightly dusty tannin but lengthy. It definitely leaves you wanting another sip, and perhaps a bite of a succulent roast. If you're not familiar with the incredible value that Muga has to offer - this is the place to start. This is a hugely versatile wine that would make a great cocktail party or complement your favorite meal - not to mention convert all your friends to Spanish wine lovers.

David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 06, 2017

When I think back to the first great red wines I tasted in my early twenties - the wines that would ultimately shape my palate and send me into the wine business - the reserva Riojas from Muga might have been the most influential. Not only were the flavors rich, robust, textural, and complex, they were within reach of my limit budget back then. There was no way I could ever splurge on a $150 bottle with my elementary school teacher salary at the time, but I did find a way to scrape together thirty bucks or so for the Muga, a wine that I think represents the essence of what makes Spanish reds so attractive: their quality-to-value ratio. The 2011 Especial Reserve is the best of two worlds, in my opinion. It has fine tannins, a bit of earth, and a rusticity that should please Bordeaux lovers, but it has lush fruit, hints of oak, and a fleshiness that should appeal to those who like riper California reds. More importantly, it's a wine that extends over the party lines and unites all drinkers under one umbrella. I'd be hard-pressed to find a cab or merlot lover who didn't enjoy immensely the character of the tempranillo-dominated Muga. It's so versatile and friendly in so many ways. The point, however, is that I think Muga is a gateway wine. It's a wine that expands horizons and opens doors to exciting new worlds. Without Muga, I never would have found my way to K&L, that's for sure.

2009 Bodegas Muga

2009 Bodegas Muga "Prado Enea" Gran Reserva Rioja ($59.99)

97 points James Suckling: "Gorgeous aromas of ripe fruit, Spanish cedar and dark chocolate. Full body with beautiful flavors of fresh strawberries and raspberries. Super polished and refined. Lovely tension. Refined and polished. A wine with superb depth. Always a masterpiece. Better in 2018 but a joy to taste now." (10/2016)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The most classic cuvée was not produced in 2007 or 2008, so we jumped to the phenomenal 2009 Prado Enea. It was produced with grapes from cooler vineyards that enjoyed 20 extra days of slow ripening compared with warmer zones, which provided them with perfect ripeness and deep flavors. This blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and the remaining 10% between Mazuelo and Graciano had an extended élevage, in this case no less than three years (alternating newer and older barrels). This is still a baby and I know Winemaker Jorge Muga would like to keep it in bottle for longer before selling it, but the commercial pressure is tremendous, as there has been no wine since 2006. The wine has 14.1% alcohol and a surprising 3.34 pH, especially considering 2009 was generally a warm and ripe year. But somehow this cuvée seems to work very well in ripe vintages. The wine feels even younger on the palate, and it still needs to develop some further complexity and the silky texture for which this wine is famous. There is good balance here and all the elements are in place for a nice development in bottle. In fact, it feels like one of the great recent vintages of Prado Enea. There will be no Prado Enea in 2012 and 2013 either, but it's produced in 2010, 2014 (small quantities) and 2015. At this quality level, the price seems like a real bargain. 90,000 bottles produced in 2009. " (08/2016)

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Alluring, complex and powerful aromas of grilled meat, berries, tea, smoke, vanilla and spice cover every base. An intense palate is concentrated but still elegant. Blackberry, molasses and mocha flavors finish with chocolaty oak notes, fine tannins and overall cohesion. Drink this special Rioja from 2020 through 2035." (06/2017)

93 points Wine Spectator: "Plump and lively, this delivers plum, tobacco, licorice and candied orange flavors, with firm tannins and balsamic acidity supplying structure. In the traditional style. Drink now through 2021." (11/2016)

Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 30, 2016

This is captivating Rioja. The nose tells you everything you want know about it. Subtly intense, with layers and layers of fruit, both dark and red, a crazy mélange of spice and dusty earthy tones. I'm content just to sit and nose the wine, kind of....The palate delivers everything that it promises on the nose but with super fine tannins and a long lingering finish. This is a great wine that you will be hard pressed to hold on to, but please try, it will just get better and better.

Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 30, 2016

Now I love Prado Enea in most any vintage (of course they do not make it every year, only in the best years), but even given that context, the 2009 is truly fantastic. A wonderful year in Rioja Alta, you can truly appreciate the intensity, fruit purity, precision and outright deliciousness in this wine. Spicy/sweet aromas of blue fruits and wild mixed berry compote, a touch of cassis as well, lead to a palate of perfectly ripe fruit that also gains in freshness and minerality as it sits in the glass and you take another sip. Great wines as balanced as Prado Enea, particularly in perfectly ripe years, are really tempting and enjoyable to drink young, but certainly will repay mid to long term cellaring, so ideally you can enjoy a bottle or two now and stash away many more. Muga's Prado Enea is one of the most consistent, cellar worthy values remaining amongst the word's great wines.