SPANISH WINE PICK: Bodegas Muga | Reserva | Rioja | Spain | 2009 | $25 | 90 pts

Muga 2009Bodegas Muga farms upwards of 1,000 acres of vineyards (620 of which are estate) along the foothills of the rocky Obarenes Mountains in the Rioja Alta region of northern Spain.  From these vines comes their Reserva, a blend of Tempranillo (70%), Grenache (20%), Mazuelo (7%), and Graciano (3%).  This is an earth- and mineral-driven red, lusty and expressive, with aromas of pencil shavings, black cherry, and forest floor followed by flavors suggesting blackberry, sweet cured tobacco, leather, and cedar — all interwoven with hints of dark, dusty cocoa.  This unfiltered red is medium-bodied and classically lean, with supple tannins and playful acids.  It was aged for 24 months in oak casks, but the oak is deftly integrated and vanilla-smooth.  Pair it with soft, ripened, or aged cheeses, smoked ham, roasted lamb, or charcoal-grilled chorizo.  We found Muga’s Reserva at Total Wine in Alexandria, Virginia, and it is generally available at Total Wine stores nationwide (  For more information about Bodegas Muga and their wines, visit them virtually at   

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