Tuesday, March 17, 2009

WHY WINE: Joeshico Wine Review "Muga" Rioja Reserve


Tempranillo is the most well known and widely used grape to make red wine (tinto). It is a black grape often referred to as Spain's noble grape which ripens several weeks prior to the other varieties and provides the full bodiedness of red wines. A blend will usually consist of sixty percent Tempranillo and up to twenty percent of Garnacha, with much smaller proportions of Mazuelo and Graciano. Each and every grape makes the wine unique. The main flavour and aging potential of the wine comes from the Tempranillo grape, with the Garnacha adding body and alcohol, the Mazuelo seasoning flavours and the Graciano providing the aroma.

Rioja is just one of many Spanish wines and it is named after the river, Rio Oja which runs through the Oja Valley in the province of La Rioja in northern Spain. The wine producing region runs for 120 kilometers down either side of the river which supplies the large quantity of water needed for all fourteen thousand vineyards to reap their harvest.

One of my favorites is Bodegas Muga Rioja reserve. Tonight I opened a 2003, one of two left in my rack. As I always do with this wine, I open about a hour before pouring.
The aroma seems to peek after a little breathing.
The wine is 70% Tempranillo, 20% Granach and 10% Mazuelo and Graciano. The color is dark cherry and the aromas are berry like, a little currant or raspberry and of course I get plum.
Sometimes I think my nose is sort of stuck in plum mode. I also get a bit (maybe more than a bit, whatever a bit is) of wet soil, sort of like a damp forest. Oh yeah, remember what your little pencil case smelled like in grade school, that too.
Tannins are soft and it has a nice long finish. Smooth and dry! The Muga Rioja will pair well with just about any food. I may even try this with my crab/artichoke dip this week.
My local price is $20 before my discount of 20%. Found online for $19.99 USD
Well worth it! My joeshico rating: 88/89
Take it from a novice "Great Buy"

Other Reviews:

7 comments:

Shelly said...

I haven't really gotten into Spanish wines but this one sounds delightful. I'll be on the lookout for this one.

The Wine Whore said...

Sounds really good! I miss the smell of the little pencil case I used to have in grade school. I'm with Shelly, this sounds like one to keep an eye out for.

syrasuz said...

I love Spanish wines. This is one I have not tried. Will be searching my local shops, sounds delightful.

Coupon Magnet said...

Great blog! I was never a wine person, but always wanted to know more about it. Now i can learn! :)

Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog! :)
couponmagnet

jFLASHj said...

sick - sick - sick wine my friend. I love it. I have several Muga in my collection. It is one of my favorite producers from Spain. Yum

Covert Cheff said...

I have had my introduction to the Tempranillo, a black/red grape that is apparently quite common in Europe, through the excellent Muga Rioja. I am lucky enough to live in Oregon, with its own bourgeoning collection of wine crafters. I look forward to trying Earl Jones' Abacela. Tempranillo is quite suited to the southern region of Oregon and does exceptionally well there. As many as a dozen wineries are cultivating it there now. Have you had any like the Edenvale or Red Lilly offerings?

Catherine, GWC said...

The Muga wines are wonderful... And youshould go and visit them! They have just been rewarded an international Best Of Wine Tourism award from the Great Wine Capitals Global Network for their excellence in welcoming visitor!
All information on
www.greatwinecapitals.com