Muga - Rioja Selección Especial is only produced in top years and in varying quantities depending on the conditions of each vintage. The wine is the result of a strict selection of the family's oldest plots planted on hillsides and higher altitude sites that have poorer soils. These conditions result in lower yields and higher quality fruit. In the cellar, vinification is similar to flagship Reserva bottling, but Selección Especial sees a higher quality oak treatment, longer ageing, and a final barrel selection.
This wine comes from estate vineyards (65%) and vineyards leased on long term contracts, with viticulture controlled by the winery, in the foothills of the Montes Obarenes and the Sierra Cantabria, primarily in the northwestern villages of Rioja Alta. The blend is 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 7% Mazuelo, 3% Graciano.
Traditional Rioja viticulture that is sustainable and organic, but not certified. A blend of goblet trained and vineyards planted on high density trellises of Rioja's most classic varieties. The vineyards are not irrigated and are farmed without the use of harmful chemically synthesized fungicides, pesticides or herbicides.
The aging process begins with six months in new French barrique, followed by two full years in older French and American (70/30) oak barriques. These barrels are aged and coopered on Muga's premises. Muga was the first winery in Spain to have an in-house cooperage. The wines are racked throughout the ageing process and fined with fresh egg whites (cracked by hand) before bottling. The wine is aged for a minimum of 18 months in bottle before release.
This 2018 Selección Especial 2018 has a black-cherry color and a deep robe. On the nose it is complex, with aromas of dark fruit, hints reminding you of cedar wood, heathland scrub and then followed by spicy aromas such as pepper. The attack is elegant and harmonious, with hints of ripe red fruit and spices. It has fantastic, well-integrated acidity which makes it long and lingering on the palate. This is a powerful reserva wine with great cellaring potential. This wine will go well with red meats, lamb and all types of game dishes.
Muga - Rioja Selección Especial 2018 is simply impressive. A wine that clearly overdelivers for its price point. Muga wines are always super consistent and a great source of quality and value.
"2018 was a cooler vintage, with a fairly long maturation, which made the wines somewhat fresher and less alcoholic, as showcased by the 2018 Selección Especial, a classical blend of the four red varieties from Rioja, Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano with contained ripeness (14.05% alcohol) and good freshness. It fermented in oak casks with indigenous yeasts and matured in French oak barrels, 40% of them new, for 26 months. They were not very happy with the vintage and had to sort and discard, but as they didn't produce Prado Enea, Torre Muga or Haro, those grapes went into this wine. They are reluctant about 2018, but I think it was a vintage capable of the best and the worst, and this 2018 is floral, expressive and elegant. It's medium to full- bodied, with very fine, chalky tannins, combining power and elegance. Amazing!" - 95 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"Deep ruby in the glass, this wine offers a bouquet of black cherry, blackberry and licorice. Flavors of black currant, pomegranate, anisette, dark chocolate and black truffle are supported by plush tannins that drift into a cherry-tobacco finish." - 96 points, Wine Enthusiast
"The 2018 Muga Selección Especial is 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, and the rest Graciano y Mazuelo. It shows the fresher style of the vintage yet has good richness in its cassis and black raspberry fruit profile as well as notes of tobacco leaf, violets, and spicy oak. Straight-up gorgeous on the palate, it shines for its purity, has ultra-fine tannins, and a great finish. I'm a fan." - 94 points, James Suckling
"It shows the fresher style of the vintage yet has good richness in its cassis and black raspberry fruit profile as well as notes of tobacco leaf, violets, and spicy oak. Straight-up gorgeous on the palate, it shines for its purity, has ultra-fine tannins, and a great finish.” - 94 points, Jeb Dunnuck