Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva 2019
The 2019 Reserva, sold as Crianza in Spain, comes from a dry and warm year with low yields and concentrated wines. The grapes from the Haro zone, the four from Rioja, Tempranillo, Garnacha Tinta, Mazuelo and Graciano fermented destemmed and lightly crushed in oak vats with indigenous yeasts, and 80% of the volume matured in French oak and the rest in Centro European and American oak, 20% of them new, for 22 months, during which time the wine was racked every eight to nine months. This is serious and young but balanced, nuanced and complex. They are shortening the time in oak, as they feel they have better and younger barrels and think the wines need less time in oak and more time in bottle. This is very Muga, very Rioja and very good. They produced an impressive 960,000 bottles and 18,000 magnums of this. There is only one master blend that is bottled at different times. I tasted a bottle that was filled in April 2022 (because of the lack of availability of bottles!).