2012 Bodegas Muga Reserva Rioja

SKU #1268940 93 points James Suckling

 Opened and beautiful nose of pure blackberries and blackcurrants with hints of white truffles and wet slate. Full body and supple and concentrated tannins. So polished and refined. A beauty. Drink now.  (12/2016)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The red 2012 Reserva is sold as Crianza or Reserva depending on the market, but it's always a blend of Tempranillo with some 20% Garnacha, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from the lower part of the valley of the Oja-Tirón river. The varieties are fermented and aged separately until most of it (around 80%) is blended the summer after. Even when they do not produce some of the top cuvées (like in 2012), those grapes are never used for this wine. 2012 saw good ripeness, and the wine shows it, but doesn't show any excess. The vinification is as classic as it gets: the grapes ferment with natural yeasts with a 'pied de cuve' and the wine matured in new barriques the first year; it was then transferred to well-seasoned barrels for a further year of upbringing. It still feels quite oaky with some smoky aromas and some notes of roasted sesame seeds. The palate is lush and round, with polished tannins. This is a textbook Rioja at a very good price for the quality it delivers. This wine should be readily available, as it's produced in good quantities, close to one million bottles, which for this quality is impressive.  (8/2016)

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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 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.
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

Alcohol Content (%): 13.5