Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 31/08/2012
The 2009 Aro is a blend of 30% Graciano and 70% Tempranillo. (The Muga family prefer blending to the pursuance of mono-varietals.) The Graciano is very expressive on the nose, lending it effervescence and animation, delivering scents of Indian ink, cassis and orange sorbet. The palate is very well-balanced with supple, saturated and grippy tannins. There is patently very well judged acidity and wonderful sense of symmetry and focus towards the finish. Intriguingly, it closes up in the glass, the tannins becoming more abrasive as if to say: “Don’t come back for several years, mate.” Drink 2019-2035.
Bodegas Muga was a must during my afternoon visiting the triumvirate of classic Rioja producers located within spitting distance from each other in Haro. The name should need no introduction. 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, when they relocated to the building in Barrio de la Estacion. Under Aurora’s son, Isaac Jnr, who joined us for the tasting, Muga fostered a reputation for high quality, classic Rioja wine sourced from an almost incalculable number of tiny parcels. During the 1990s they branched out to pursue what you might call “modern” Rioja with the inception of “Torre Muga” in 1991. This move may have piqued those that feared Muga was forsaking their classical roots, though those fears were unfounded and the bodega continues to fashion wines that embrace both styles. However, let us commence with their sparkling contribution to the Rioja landscape.
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