Bodegas Muriel is one of four wineries owned by the Murua Family which has a history of dealing in wine dating back 85 years - making them a relative young gun in Rioja! Indeed it was only in 1986 that the existing bodega was established and production is now made from both purchased vineyards as well as imperative contract grower relationships forged all the while the family dealt in wine. This gets the 'Rolls Royce' treatment of mainly new French Oak and has a wonderful old world charm while remaining new world 'clean'!
Selected grapes from Rioja Alavesa and Alta vineyards. Soils are a very poor, chalky type with a clayish-sandy texture. The vines have a medium age of 40 years and are grown using the traditional “goblet” system. Twenty to 25 days of fermentation and maceration in stainless steel, temperature-controlled vats with daily pump-overs in order to achieve the optimum color and tannic extraction. Malolactic fermentation is conducted in stainless steel tanks and then the wine is racked twice before going into oak barrels. The wine is aged in American and French oak barrels for 24 months with three rackings. There is further bottle ageing for two years prior to release.
About 50% is French barrique with around 30% new oak used. Quite the classic styling here. Sourced from around 800 hectares, 200 hectares is used for Muriel and 70 hectares are planted pre 1950 of that 800 hectare commodity. Nice drinking here; easy drinking. Though classically styled there’s quite the modern appeal here – cola, dark berries, anise, sweet-spicy cedary oak and black olive making an appearance. The palate is medium weight, concentrated, slides assertively with power and ribs of coffee-mocha tannins. Feels tangy fresh with acidity, perhaps a little to prominent, though that should resolve too. Nicely done Rioja red for all, here. Dials in good, clean Rioja vibes. Tasted: Aug 17; Alcohol: 13.5%; Price: $28; Closure: Cork; Drink: 2017-2026; Rated: 90 Points; Mike Bennie; The Wine Front
Pretty fruit flavors of strawberry and raspberry mingle with vanilla…the tannins are light but firm…keeps this fresh through the vanilla scented finish. Tasted: May 16; Rating: 90 Points; Wine Spectator
Floral and subtle fruit character on the nose follows through to a full to medium body, soft and silky tannins and a flavorful finish. So refined. Hints of herbs and pepper towards the end. Drink or hold. Tasted: Dec 16; Rating: 92 Points; James Suckling
Baked, rooty aromas of sandalwood, exotic spices and berry fruits are attractive. Though slightly grabby on the palate, this shows the right structure and build. Flavors of up‐front oak, herbal plum and raspberry finish dry, with firm, pinching tannins. Tasted: Aug 16; Rating: 90 Points; Wine Enthusiast
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