Bodegas Muga was a must during my afternoon visiting the triumvirate of classic Rioja producers located in Haro. It was founded by Aurora Cano and her husband Isaac in 1932, although the family were growers and did not commence winemaking themselves until the 1960s. Under Aurora’s son, Isaac Jnr, Muga fostered a reputation for high quality, classic Rioja wine sourced from an almost incalculable number of tiny parcels. ( Jay Miller, Wine Advocate ).
Cultivars: 70% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from old terraced vineyards in the lowest part of the Oja valley where the river meets the Ebro. The grapes are fermented with their natural yeast in old oak wooden vats for 20 days with daily pumping-over and aged for two years in barrels, the first year in new ones, and the second year in used ones.
“This was a very long harvest (similar to 2016). They started at the end of August with the Cava, and they finished at the end of October with very healthy grapes, good yields and very good quality. The wine shows very good ripeness but without any excess. It has incipient complexity, still young and undeveloped but with very good balance between power and elegance, with fine-grained tannins and integrated acidity. This has to be one of the best recent vintages of this popular bottling. There are around one million bottles of it.” – Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate