Muga, Rioja Reserva
Aged for 24 months in French oak barrels made in their own cooperage, this extremely traditional Rioja is wonderfully generous and act as a one-wine-conviction piece for the use of egg whites and old-fashioned techniques.
Soft, smooth and complex with ripe red berry, blackberry and subtle, integrated spices, all wrapped up in silky tannins and a long balanced finish.
From one of the great houses of Haro, Muga's wines are all worth getting excited about. They are the perfect living example of how to balance tradition with an embracing of the new, using oak in every part of the winemaking process, fining with egg whites (between 2 and 3 are enough for 100 litres), and yet a complete understanding of the technology in terms of vineyard research, fermentation processes, technical analyses, quality management and ISO standards that have only been available in the last twenty years or so.
The results are so obviously brilliant that one wonders why others aren't all flocking to follow-on from Muga's example. It could well be the cost that this devotion incurs as these are expensive philosophies to adopt; whatever the reason, there are few who consistently produce such recognisably smooth, complex and delicious wines as Muga. We're lucky to have them.
- Medium Full