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Torre Muga Rioja Reserva Especial 2011
- Great Domaines
- Wine Advocate
all ratings out of 100 points.
"The Mugas are happy with the 2011 harvest. The 2011 Torre Muga is a dark-colored, almost opaque, ripe and concentrated effort. (It contains the Tempranillo that would normally be part of the Aro, and was not produced because they didn't get the Graciano they needed.) They are selling this very young (but still, it will not be released until around September 2015). It is quite heady with aromas of ripe plums, spices, lead pencil, ink and well-integrated oak. The palate is full-bodied, round and lush with plenty of dense and concentrated tannins that feel very young. If you have in mind the Torre Muga from the beginning, this has a lot less oak and is less extracted; it has much better balance. As usual, it's a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo and others, from a very cold zone close to the Oja-Tirón rivers, which might explain why this wine is so fresh in such warm vintage. There will be no Torre Muga in 2012 or 2013, and possibly very little 2014. So stock up on this if you want a wine like it, because it will keep and develop well in bottle."- Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo and others
2017 - 2026
Oak vats for 36 months
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.