Who makes it?
Bodega Muga is a family run winery in Rioja and is one of the names that have become synonymous with Spain’s most famous region. Particularly for their well regarded Prado Enea. Notably, Muga is known for only producing red Rioja wines at the Reserva or Gran Reserva level. When the vintage is superb, the family produce this special edition Reserva. And lovers of Cava should also seek out the family’s Cava. They have recently added the iconic Spanish fizz to their growing list of wines.
How they make it?
The Seleccion Especial is a classic Rioja blend of Tempranillo, Grenache, Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano. Rioja Reserva wines are noted for their extended ageing, hence it is no surprise that this one has had 26 months in new oak. After bottling, it is held for a further 18 months until it is ready for sale. So, not only has the Especial been made with older vine fruit in exceptional years, but also receives additional ageing compared to Muga’s standard Reserva wine.
What does it taste like?
Rich, smooth and fruity is the typical definition of a Reserva level Rioja. So, as expected, here is an abundance of red plum and cherry fruit. Fragrant and ripe. This is backed by a spicy wedge of cedary oak, and some tobacco that particularly comes through on the finish. Those powdery tannins wrap themselves around your mouth like a comforting hug while the acid keeps the wine fresh and allows the fruit to shine forth. The finish has a slight grip but the fruit hangs around for a long moment demanding your attention.
What to drink with it?
Enjoy with a thick cut steak or a venison pie with flaky pastry. Or you could cellar this one to let it mellow even more.
Something like a Truckle Cheddar or stick to the classic match of Manchego.
Quickie review « If you are looking for a wine that wraps itself comfortingly around your mouth, this is your wine.»
Country of Origin: Rioja DOC, Spain
Tasting Date: November 20
Price: £26 | USD$35 | €28
Drink: now – 7+ years
Needs food: no
Visit Bodega Muga for more information.