The 2009 Reserva has an enticing and complex nose of pain grille, pencil lead, and blackberry leads into an elegant wine with layers of flavor, fruit and sweet-spice with ripe and integrated tannins and a lengthy finish.
A fleshy texture carries spicy flavors of blackberry, toasty vanilla, dried herbs and licorice. The firm tannins and citrusy acidity provide structure and keep the wine focused. Drink now through 2018.
Bodegas Muga was founded by Isaac Muga Martínez and his wife, Auro Caño in 1932, in Haro, at the Western end of Rioja Alta. After fermentation the wine is aged for 6 months in large traditional vats, then 24 months in small oak barrels, and a further year in bottle before release.
92 Points – Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar:
Brilliant ruby. Black raspberry and smoky oak scents are lifted by enticing mineral and spicecake notes. Dense, supple and deep, with intense flavors of black raspberry, mocha and vanilla. Very full, velvety wine, finishing with smooth, ripe tannins and a vibrant red berry quality.
91 Points – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate:
So we moved on to the reds with the 2009 Reserva, a vintage where they harvested quite late and they compare to 2005, a powerful year. The blend is 70% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacho (they use the masculine form of the name here), 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from old terraced vineyards in the lowest part of the Oja valley where the river meets the Ebro. The grapes are fermented with their natural yeast in old oak wooden vats for 20 days with daily pumping-over and aged for two years in barrels, the first year in new ones, and the second year in used ones. The young nose is dominated by dark fruit aromas intermixed with notes of orange rind, licorice, Chinese ink and smoked peat. The palate shows some grainy tannins denoting a young but tender wine, with good intensity and acidity, ideal to have with food. They produce 850,000 bottles of this wine, which is remarkable given its high quality. Very Rioja. Drink 2014-2020.
91 Points – Wine & Spirits:
A Best Buy.