Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva Selección Especial 2014
(aged for 26 months in new and used French oak barrels) Bright violet color. Vibrant, spice- and mineral-tinged scents of fresh dark fruits and spicecake are complemented by a suave floral overtone. Juicy and pliant in the mouth, offering gently sweet black raspberry, cherry-cola, spicecake and rose pastille flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. In an energetic style, showing excellent clarity and silky tannins that frame an impressively long, focused finish.
The Muga family is a lot happier about 2014 than your average Riojano, and the 2014 Selección Especial shows why. Through a selection of the vineyards and longer aging in barrel, this is a more-polished wine, very good with food (it's the one winemaker Jorge Muga usually has when he drinks one of his wines with a meal). There is very good acidity here, which is why I think this is so good with food. I really see that vintages produced from the higher-altitude, cooler places in Rioja where the Muga family sources their grapes are different from other parts of Rioja, and this 2014 is one of the finest and most balanced of the recent vintages of Selección Especial. 200,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2017.
A wine that won't be released on the market until next year, the 2014 Muga Reserva Selección Especial checks in as a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, 10% Graciano, 5% Manuelo. With an inky black color and loads of black fruits, charcoal, lead pencil, and espresso aromas and flavors, it's medium to full-bodied, has slightly more acidity than the 2012, as well as more tannin. It's a balanced, pure, beautiful expression of Rioja. It's going to benefit from short-term cellaring and keep for 15-20+ year
A dense texture carries ripe flavors of blackberry, currant, licorice and toast in this modern-style red. Bright acidity and firm, slightly grippy tannins keep this focused. A bit angular now, but should smooth out with time. Best from 2020 through 2030. 14,000 cases made, 2,500 cases imported.