2003 Bodegas Muga "Torre Muga" Rioja, Spain

SKU #1041484 94 points Wine Spectator

 This full-bodied red is powerful yet harmonious, with ripe, well-integrated tannins. The impressive structure carries finely etched flavors of cassis, black olive, mineral and licorice that need time to come to full expression. A modern style, but avoids international clichés. Best after 2008. (TM)  (11/2007)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2003 Torre Muga from a torridly hot vintage is a glass-coating opaque purple color. Dense with a roasted character, it has plenty of power but lacks elegance. Nevertheless, it is a solid effort from a difficult vintage. (JM)  (6/2010)

92 points Vinous

 Inky ruby. Impressively fresh aromas don't suggest a hot year: spicy red berries, cherry-vanilla, anise, rose and lavender. Fresh red fruit flavors are brightened by zesty minerality and complicated by suggestions of licorice candy, mocha and floral pastille. A crisp, focused Rioja that finishes with gentle grip and very good length. (JR)  (9/2007)

Jancis Robinson

 Very deep crimson. Heady, almost New World nose - very aromatic and luscious. Sweet and yet punchy and lively with more obvious acidity than in most of these wines. A sort of electric shock version of the Muga riojas of old! Essence of Muga… Slightly hard work but certainly attention grabbing. Full marks for effort. (JR) 17/20 points  (11/2006)

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Price: $59.99
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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 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.