Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva 2017
The red 2017 Reserva, which is sold as Crianza in Spain, is their most popular wine, representing half of the total production of the firm. As is the norm here, it fermented in oak vats and matured in barrels, in this case for 24 months, crafted by their own coopers. The wine is fined with egg whites and kept in bottle for a further 12 months before it's released. I had the wine in the glass for a very long time, and it didn't stop improving; it started a little lactic and creamy, and then it got more and more serious. This is the only red they produced this vintage, so all the best grapes that normally go to other wines were used here; those selected grapes helped to keep the volume of this cuvée, and at the same time, it seems to have boosted the quality of this wine, which feels every bit as good as the 2016. It has a serious palate with fine, chalky tannins and very good balance. This is a textbook Muga red and a triumph over the conditions of the year, elegant and balanced, approachable now and with potential to age. In 2017, they produced 936,000 bottles of this wine.