Tempranillo, Grenache, Mazuelo, Graciano
Rioja lovers rejoice! Bodegas Muga will likely be a familiar name to any fans of Spain's most famous D.O.C. - they've been at the forefront of quality since 1932 and are one of the leading proponents of the classic Rioja style. This 2015 Seleccion Especial is made from the very best grapes that the winery has designated for their Reserva level, and like all of their wines, it is produced exclusively in oak - from the initial alcoholic fermentation straight through to the extended barrel aging. So committed is Muga to this traditional Riojan practice, they are the only winery in Spain to employ a dedicated barrel-maker! The Seleccion Especial is a blend of mostly Tempranillo, with small amounts of Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano to add structure, colour, and complexity. As more and more bodegas in Rioja chase a modern, international style, Muga continues as a standard-bearer for tradition. The result is an elegant, nuanced, and incredibly age-worthy wine that deserves a spot in any wine-lover's cellar. Enjoy now served at 18 C, or age for a further 10-15 years.
Deep garnet, with a ruby rim.
Earthy and rustic, with aromas of cedar, graphite, white pepper, and brambles, followed by fresh black raspberries and cherries and a hint of cocoa. Oak aging adds another layer of complexity, with Bourbon vanilla, cola, and smoke. A textbook Rioja from a master of the style!
Medium bodied on the palate, with tons of depth and character. Ripe raspberry fruit complements the fine, grainy tannins, and it finishes clean with bright acidity. Despite the long oak aging, everything is in balance and it's still surprisingly youthful with another decade of development ahead of it, if you're patient enough to wait!
While roast lamb is the classic Rioja pairing, opt for something a bit bigger if you're opening this now - think a flank steak grilled on charcoal with plenty of fresh-cracked black pepper. Or for a veggie option, match the umami in this wine with grilled portobello mushrooms.
Castilla y León
Campo de Borja