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Bodegas Muga Rioja White 2017
- Great Domaines
- Wine Advocate
all ratings out of 100 points.
"Yields for the 2017 Muga Blanco were lower, and there will be some 140,000 bottles (compared with 200,000 in the previous year) of this wine, which I tasted unbottled. The white varieties recovered better from the frost than the reds, and they behaved better in a year with a shorter vegetative cycle; however, they got extremely low yields of Maturana Blanca. The wine has good ripeness (13.2% to 13.4% alcohol) without any herbal notes. It's a bit sharp right now, but it's still a little early, as it will be kept with the lees for a further two months, and it should gain in volume during that time. The white and rosé are always sourced from higher-altitude, cooler zones (especially in the Najerilla), so these wines are always fresh. They might produce that quantity because they purchased some grapes from old vines, even though they were more expensive, to try to keep the volume. " - Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Viura and Malvasia
2018 - 2021
Fermented in 225-, 500- and 600-liter oak casks where it is kept in contact with the fine lees from October to February.
Zalto White Wine
Vineyards & vinification:
Slow fermentation in new French oak and 3 months on fine lees are the secrets of this careful production process.
As one of the greatest and most recognisable names in Spanish winemaking, it comes as no surprise that the family history goes all the way back to 1932 when the estate was founded. Still in family ownership, it cultivates a staggering 250 hectares of vineyard in the Haro region of Rioja Spain. Additionally, a further 150 hectares are in the hands of external growers, many with a long history of supplying Muga with grapes.
Vines range in age from all the way back to when the estate was founded, to more recent plantings. Variety and tradition are the key philosophies behind their success. A fortunate location allows three climates to converge: Continental, Mediterranean and Atlantic. Each vineyard benefits from its own microclimate, fertile clay and limestone soils. Although there is a focus on the great Rioja grape, Tempranillo, some Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano is also grown.
Tradition dictates how the cellar is run. Roughly 90 large wooden casks (ranging in size up to 50 000l) are used for fermentation, and over 14 000 (yes, not a typo!) barrels are used for maturation. Muga is one of very few bodegas that has a Cooperage on site. Three full-time coopers construct all their barrels as well as a “Cubero”: a specialist vat builder that takes care of their enormous fermentation casks. All reds are fined using the traditional method of adding egg whites to the wines. This forms a layer atop the wine, which sinks down and takes the lees and other impurities along with it. Nothing is wasted though - once the wine has been tapped out the mix of lees and egg-white is used to fertilise the source of the fruit it has clarified.
Muga straddles the modern with the traditional. All their wines show an excellent benefit from aging. Their Reservas and Gran Reservas take on a more traditional character, while the “Aro” and “Toro Muga” confirms the modern angle to this.