Weekly Under $20 Value Wine Pick – 2006 Muga Rioja Blanco, Rioja, Spain

MugaRiojaBlanco

Winery: Bodegas Muga

Bottling: 2006 Rioja Blanco (Grape Varietal: Viura)

Importer: Jorge Ordonez

Region: Spain

Sub-Region: Rioja

Estimated Retail Price: $12-$14

Purchase Details: Purchased at Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquors on Oahu for approximately $13 and change.

Tasting Notes: The last white Rioja I had was a Palacios Remondo “Placet” Rioja, and it was good.  It was intense and racy, and I loved it.  I wanted to have that same experience again, but this time with another producer.  Bodegas Muga was my next target.

Fresh aromas and clean flavors were the hallmarks of this wine.  On the nose, citrus fruits and a sort of waxy smell.  On the palate were flavors of lemon, mineral and herb.

Although the wine was barrel-fermented, I didn’t experience the richness I would expect from this particular vinification technique.  I also didn’t get the acid zing I was looking forward to.  That being said, there was an overall good balance between acid, weight and fruit.

Food Pairing and Context in Which to Enjoy: This wine screams shellfish and crustaceans.  Scrambled eggs and a side of panzanella would also work.

Winery & Other Background Information: White Rioja, like white Bordeaux are wonderful pleasures that are often underappreciated and oft-forgotten.  They combine richness and raciness really well and offer great quality at friendly price points.

Bodegas Muga makes a really solid Rioja Reserva that retails for around $25 – $30.  They also make a several more kicked up versions called the Seleccion Especial, Prado en Gran Reserva, Torre Muga and the recently introduced top of the line Aro Muga. Their reds are where the estate really excels and are wines you should sek out for immediate enjoyment or for your cellar.

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