Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial 2016
Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain. The 2016 vintage, officially ranked as “Very Good”, produced wines showing great balance between freshness and power and revealing expressive aromas, very ripe tannins, depth, and length of flavor. This Special Selection Reserva 2016 exhibits a medium-deep, dense garnet/black cherry color. The nose is complex with ripe, red berry and black fruit coming to the fore with hints of black pepper and subtle, creamy, smoky oak, followed by notes of coffee and a touch of mint. The entry on the palate is smooth and elegant and develops with good volume towards an elegant, harmonious mid-palate revealing fresh, ripe red berry fruits and spice. The whole is underpinned by a powerful tannic structure and fresh acidity. This powerful yet elegant Reserva offers great aging potential. Blend: 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 7% Mazuelo, 3% Graciano
| Critical Acclaim
James Suckling 95: A very pretty, manicured young red with plum, berry and dark-chocolate character. Medium body and round tannins that are focused and firm. Delicious, succulent finish. Plenty of subtle fruit and supple tannins take you to where you want to go in fine Rioja red. Drinkable now but linear and tight. Give it some time. Better after 2021.
Jeb Dunnuck 94: Always a terrific wine, the 2016 Selección Especial is based on 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, and the rest Graciano and Mazuelo. Almost Rhône-like with its spicy, meaty, gamey style, this beauty offers lots of red and black currants, cedary spice, incense, and tobacco aromas and flavors. It's medium to full-bodied, has terrific balance, silky tannins, and is just a class act. The 2015 is a richer, more opulent wine, while 2016 shows a touch more freshness and elegance. Both are beautiful vintages worth buying, cellaring, and drinking.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 94: The current vintage of the red that is their first option to have with food is the 2016 Selección Especial, whose grapes are selected from terraced vineyards in the Montes Obarenes and the Sierra Cantabria, from vines averaging 35 years of age. It fermented in oak vats and matured in French oak barrels for 26 months, and it's kept in the bottle for at least 18 months before it's sold. This is serious and has freshness and some restraint in the palate; it's much more expressive, floral, and aromatic and with more-integrated oak than the wines from five+ years ago. It's a more elegant vintage than the 2015 and every bit is as good, or a tad better. Winemaker Isaac Muga considers 2016 a very good harvest. It was bottled in April 2019. This is among the best vintages of Selección Especial.