I have a history with this wine. It was introduced to me by friends, one of whose father was Chairman of the Board way back in the day. I have drunk many vintages over the past 20 years and look forward to each bottle. Quality can be a little inconsistent over the years but generally speaking this is a very good staple for the cellar. This particular vintage is dark and brooding in the glass It offers up notes of lush blackberry with lashings of black cherry pie and vanilla. On the palate I get some raisin, blackberry, tar and almond. Very Tempranillo-like. The tannins are quite polished and unobtrusive. They join the party midpalate and carry through to the medium length finish. The flavors are mostly primal right now but I sense that development is forthcoming and this wine will evolve nicely. The predominance of that earthy tar component really excites me as this is my favorite Tempranillo trait. This wine will drink well till 2025 at the least and begs for roasted meats, a hearty game stew or some heavy duty cheese. I’m going 90 points, and for $16 this is a 4 star effort. Salut….
When I see a wine that advertises a 97 point Decanter (or any other reputable critic for that matter) rating that I can get for under $14 it’s a must try. So I bought a bunch of this back in 2015 and forgot about them, until now. The wine is a medium purple with a touch of orange. On the nose, very fresh aromas of black cherry, blueberry and some oak. On the palate I get just what I was hoping for. Vibrant blue fruits, rich plum, some creosote and olive. The wine has a tannic streak that starts at the beginning and crescendos at the finish. The mid palate shows off some Tempranillo earthiness and some rhubarb, the sour kind. That is where I sense acidity and it balances the package nicely. The finish is medium in length and has hints of spice box and more earthiness. A blend of Tempranillo and Garanacha. I can’t see 97 points, more like 90. Having said that- for the price, it’s a major 5 star wine. Drink till 2025. I’m having Chorizo, a Spanish style salad and grilled asparagus with mine. Salut….
See through purple, not what I was expecting from a Tempranillo out of Rioja. The nose is however right up that alley. Red currants, earth and a tar component greet me. The telltale creosote is alive and kicking in this wine, as is a touch of vanilla. On the palate, I get a brutish, young and cocky wine full of red fruit, with raspberries, strawberries and currants popping. The acidity is vibrant and the tannins are lithe. The mid palate carries the red fruit theme and amps up the acidity factor. On the tail end the finish is fresh with tannins and strawberry extract. More red currants sneak in right at the close. Very smooth and nicely balanced, but I don’t get a hint of the yearlong oak maturation after the initial whiff. Might be well integrated, who knows. This wine is a great summer addition to a party, serve it with dry rubbed ribs, perhaps a bourbon glazed pork chop on the grill or even just a basic Mezze. I’m going with 90 points on this $11 stunner that makes it a 5 star wine. Drink now till 2022. Salut….
Nearly see-through medium shade of purple. A somewhat subdued nose of black currants and earth. The initial taste is of more black fruits, including black cherries and some currants. The wine is not as full bodied as I thought it would be but it has a certain elegance that I am enjoying. The mid palate has plum tart and a toasty oak hint. The wine shows a decent amount of acidity and the tannins are very fine grained and well integrated. The finish shows a touch oak and some raisins. I would pair this wine with grilled pork chops, eggplant parmesan or some cheese, ham, and olives. 89 points from me but the label says it got 95 Decanter points, I’m not seeing that. I paid $14, which make it a 3 star wine. Salut….
I will start out by saying that the label and name got me. The 93 point WS capsule sold me along with the $15 price tag at my local Costco. How could I pass on this amazing QPR (Quality Price Ratio). I have read much about this winery and all their award winning wines.
Nose of blueberry and earth. On the palate I get subdued notes of blue fruits, some blackberry and a swath of fine grained tannins. There is an offsetting acidity that is bracing. The wine is short on the finish but I fear I am drinking it prematurely. For now it lacks depth and is rather thin. If I were to score it on it’s initial presence- 86 points is all I could. The label states that it got a monster 93 points, which would make this $15 bottle a 5 star wine. Let it breathe for 24 hours and revisit.
Nope, still a little light in the flavor profile and the wine seriously lacks depth. Did I get a bum bottle? I am heading back to Costco soon and will get another, surely I am wrong. For now I will reserve judgement on this Tempranillo blend and just give a preliminary rating of 86 points and 2 stars. Stay tuned for updates on what could be the biggest winner out there (3 pts for $15….Dang). Salut….
After my initial tasting of Muga’s Reserva I was bound to find more of their wines. I bought six bottles on sale for $29 each and was very happy with my purchase.
Dark purple color with no legs in the glass even though there is 14% alcohol. Nose of graphite, plum jam and some earth. On the palate a beautiful intro to plums, black cherry and spicebox. Upfront tannins grip the teeth and some sharp acidity checks it back in place. This wine is somewhat awkward yet comes together nicely on the mid to back end. Powerful yet youthful, it will be better after 2018, once the Tannins meld and the acidity recedes. It will drink well if needed now with a run through the Vinturi. Otherwise hold on, let the secondary flavors evolve and enjoy till 2024 at least. 92 points from me even though some pros went as high as 96! I’m sitting on my other 5 bottles. A blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 7% Mazuelo and 3% Graciano. 5 stars for the quality to price ratio here. Salut…..
Every once in a while in my profession I get to meet up with old friends. On this particular occasion, it happened to be a personal trip that allowed me to have a great evening with an old high school friend whom I have not seen in close to 30 years. He has not changed one bit, I on the other hand have grown rounder and balder. We hoisted the first glass of this delicious Rioja in honor of our fallen friend, ‘Bonange’, who recently succumbed to colon cancer. Our band of merry men were nicknamed the Hyenas for some obscure reason, but we were all close friends growing up in Africa. Many years later we are still in touch and can get together at the spur of the moment and have a great time reminiscing.
The wine itself was extraordinary. Not quite black in the glass, it was a severe shade of dark, alluring and intriguing. The nose was murky, with some dampness and funk combining with purple lavender and some black fruits. I had been given a taste of another aged Rioja prior to this bottle, it was far more earthy. This one was somewhat fresher yet retained that Rioja typicity. The blend is 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 7% Mazuelo and 3% Graciano.
On the first sip I was getting dark cherry, blackcurrant and some leather. A mid palate tinge of smoke was quite interesting and the tannins were ever present, but not obtrusive. Good mouthfeel throughout with a decent length finish made me long for yet another sip. We paired this wine with all kinds of Tapas, including ribs, braised rabbit, chicken and some beef carpaccio. It sang on every occasion. It can be had for $27 in the shops and gets an average of 91 points from the pros, I concur. I’m going 5 stars on this wine and am loading up a shopping cart with the stuff. I plan on drinking it over the next 5-7 years. Salut….
From Spain’s Rioja came this blend of Carignan, Grenache and Tempranillo that I had a hard time with. The pro’s were all over the map with scores ranging from 90 down to 82. I paid $13 for it but found it for $10 elsewhere.
Nose of earth and blue fruits with some hint of oak. Atypical for Rioja- muted flavors of blueberry and bramble. Slightly rough tannins but good acidity seem to balance out in the end with a very muted finish overshadowed by the tannic frame. 86 points from me and 2 stars. I think one merits another look as it may be bottle variation. How is it possible to have such varied impression from others I wonder. I will look for it in the future and report back. Salut….
The label says Decanter magazine gave it 97 points- that’s huge and worthy of the $35 entry fee. I was actually blown away once I opened this Rioja gem. Thick purple hues in the glass with a solid nose of bramble, blackberry, oak and ginger. Initial attack of super smooth fruits- blackberry, blue berries, orange peel and a dancing acidity that mingles around. Super duper smooth tannins grace the whole mouth and provide an amazing mouthfeel, not sumptuous, nor lean – just present. This is an amazing wine. Mid to back end is where I find some wood, lighter red fruits and as it airs out- more gripping tannins. Not exactly textbook Rioja, it’s a cross with Bordeaux and young Brunello. Simply amazeballs. 95 from me make this a 5 star wine with a long life ahead. 2025-2028. Salut….
I have an affinity to this winery, having drunk many vintages over the years. I also happen to have friends who have vintages dating back to 1968 in their cellar. His father used to be on the Board, hence the connection. Anyway….. I always think of them and my visit to Spain when I see the unmistakable bottle with it’s wire cage. Always well priced at around $15, it is consistent and decent. Here we go.
Bright opaque purple color with a classic earthy Tempranillo nose laced with some oak.
Iodine, black cherry and blackberry hints come through after a bit of air. On the palate, slightly less fruit, more secondary flavors of tar, black tea, black berry and some Asian plum. A slightly hollow mid palate has me concerned but the wine has an acidic crunch at the end that I kinda liked. Totally melded tannins that still have some good grip. 88 points is my guess. Very enjoyable, with points off for the hollowness. 2014-2017 and 3 stars. Salut….