John Selman The Agency

Bodegas Muga “Selección Especial” Reserva Rioja

A fabulous wine value that pleases traditionalists and hedonists alike. Rich, yet nuanced…how do they do it?
The 2010 is great (You just can’t go wrong with these wines), but the 2009 is sublime, and available here-and-there for the same price ($35-40, either vintage)!
The annual pre-sale and subsequent release of the bulk of Bodegas Muga’s offerings is always a big event for retailers. Very well priced for the level of quality of the wines, Muga always delivers a great bottle, but look for the older vintage!
Muga was founded in 1932 in the town of Haro in the heart of the Spanish Rioja, by Don Isaac Muga. They own 173 acres of vineyards, and purchase about the same from selected vineyards in the region. Torre Muga’s winemaking combines the best of modern viticulture with traditional methods. Their winery is designed to allow gravity flow, yet permit fermentation to take place in traditional giant wooden vats, without resorting to pumping. While production is about 100,000 cases (of which 1/3 is exported), the cellerible offerings (perennially high scoring) are always in demand.
I just tasted a bottle of the Reserva “Seleccion Especial”, and thought it was another solid value for the collector/drinker/lover of good wine. I would encourage you to clean out your retailer!!

This is always a crowd pleaser, and I mean that in a good, inclusive way, where it hits a hot button for any wine lover, not in the ” middle of the road for everyone” way.
Traditionalists will love the well-balanced (read imperceptible, but just right) level of acidity to keep it alive in the mouth, along with the shifting, palate of flavors presented. The lover of giant trophy reds will delight in its dark flavor profile, plush mouth feel, and plentiful fruit and tannin.
With a little time in the decanter, it was a joy right now, but collectors will get the real budget potential from this wine if they can wait 5-10 more years.

The 2009:
In CA, Order it at Mission Liquors for $35.99
or K&L Wine Merchants for $39.99.

In AZ Find it at Total Wine for $38.99 

In NYC, find it atMorrell’s for $42

and you lucky wine people in Texas, try your Total Wine for a bottle at $32.99

(Or, go to Wine-Searcherfor other locations)

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate-92pts “The 2009 Seleccion Especial is sourced from the same blend of 70% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacho (they use the masculine form of the name here), 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo as the Reserva and also from the same zone in the confluence of the Oja and Ebro rivers selected from the geologically older plots, usually in higher terraces where the vines are at least 30 years old. Fermentation is carried out in oak vats and aged in barriques for twenty eight months, initially in new barrels and then transferred to used ones. This is more backward and closed than the Reserva, with a more subtle and elegant nose, a tighter palate, with fine-grained tannins, pungent flavors and great acidity and length. The Reserva’s big brother. 240,000 bottles produced. Drink 2015-2024. I think the Muga family wines have been going from strength to strength and they are offering superbly-crafted wines from their cellars in the Barrio de la Estacion in Haro. I’ve seen a big change in Prado Enea starting with the 2004 vintage. As it happens, some of their wines are selling faster than they are produced (as they are not necessarily offered in every vintage) and they had no Prado Enea to show. The next vintage will be 2006, but there will be none in 2007 or 2008 and they need to fill the gap until the 2009 is released. The vintage of Torre Muga and Aro on the market is already 2010. There’s no stainless steel whatsoever at Muga, they have kept true to their beliefs, and all their wines are fermented in oak.”Wine Spectator-95pts “Highly Recommended- Powerful yet harmonious, this rich red delivers black cherry, licorice, fresh herb, smoke and mineral flavors that mingle seamlessly over firm, well-integrated tannins, while balsamic-tinged acidity drives the flavors through the long, spicy finish. Drink now through 2025.”Stephen Tanzer-93pts “Opaque ruby. Sexy, oak-spiced aromas of red- and blackcurrant, cherry and vanilla, with a bright floral accent. Lush and palate-staining, offering intense dark berry preserve and cherry-cola flavors that become spicier with air. Deep and rich but surprisingly lively, finishing with impressive energy and floral persistence.”Bodegas Muga

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About the Author
John Selman is a happy real estate broker/realtor at The Agency. He is a refugee from the Tech World, incuding Big Blue,, CadData, CU2Americas, and a former Managing Member of Barrel Wine Bars LLC, Malibu Village Wines LLC, and WineProGroup. He enthusiastically enjoys and irreverently writes, about food, wine, and homes. He is passionate about all three as well as grapes, good renovation, architecture, his family, his very needy Bulldog-Rugby, and most (but not always all) of his friends. John works with his customers buying and selling normal homes as well as Luxury Properties at The Agency, and loves what he gets to do every day. In his free time, he coaches paddling sports on Tempe Town Lake, occasionally visits his favorite old ski haunts and complains of aches and pains, avoids anyone carrying a rugby ball, travels up and down the coast seeking out great food & wine, looks for water to paddle SUP or outriggers, and laughs at his dog.

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