Bodegas Muga Torre Muga 2016
98 Points ‘EXCEPTIONAL!’ James Suckling
“The purity of fruit to this is very, very intriguing with blackberries, graphite, and charcoal. Full-bodied. It radiates intense fruit with perfectly polished tannins. Subtle asphalt and blue fruit. Very long and beautiful. Racy. Tempranillo with lush graciano and complex mazuelo. Delicious!”
Blend: 75% Tempranillo, 15% Mazuelo, 10% Graciano
We find a wine that presents itself with dense tears that denote a wine of great elegance. Purple trim that reflects its youth. On the nose we have aromas of black fruit with good maturity, spicy aromas of black pepper, undergrowth. Some menthol, rosemary and some smoky notes appear from its upbringing in top quality oak, creating an unmatched harmony and balance. In the mouth it expresses a sweet tannin, elegant with an acidity that balances the palate. Licorice notes appear and the pepper is present again. A very persistent, elegant, friendly and frank wine. A very persistent, elegant, enjoyable and approachable wine.
We can pair this wine with long-maturing red meats, game or, failing that, enjoy it on its own. In turn we recommend pairing it with grilled white fish.
Even better than the magical 2015, the 2016 Torre Muga offers a thrilling bouquet of cassis and assorted pure dark fruits, lead pencil, graphite, white flowers, and spice-laced aromas and flavors. While this cuvée is always thought of as the most modern in the lineup, it's far from it and has integrated oak, flawless balance, sweet tannins, and a gorgeous finish. It's beautifully done and just a thrilling bottle of Rioja that's going to evolve for 20-30 years or more.
I tasted a super young 2016 Torre Muga that had only been in bottle for some four months. But even so, the year seems to be approachable and open. Even if the wine has concentration and power, it has great balance and freshness. And it's drinkable now, even if it's going to get polished with some more time in bottle, where it should have a long life. This was the most modern of the wines in the portfolio, but I think the modern and traditional styles have been converging over the years, and nowadays there is not a huge difference between them. And for its age, it feels quite round, and it doesn't have edges or any harsh tannins; the oak is present but it's neatly integrated in the wine. It has to be one of the finest vintages for Torre Muga. 36,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in early 2019.
This bold red is assertive, yet holds power in reserve. A thick texture, supported by muscular tannins, supports ripe flavors of currant, fig, cocoa, loamy earth and tar. Concentrated, but remains harmonious. Impressive, in the modern style. Best from 2022 through 2036.