Jeb Dunnuck
James Suckling
Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
Photos are for display purposes only and may have an out-of-date vintage, bottle shape or label.

Bodegas Muga Aro 2016

Product description

A very deep, black-cherry colour with purplish undertones. The core is so deep it is almost opaque. A very youthful colour, hardly developed at all for its age. Great concentration and depth on the nose with a complex array of aromatics that have developed with the wine’s ageing in bottle, and which will be enhanced even more by longer ageing. Fruit sensations come to the fore, particularly red berry fruit and perfectly ripe forest fruit, such as blackberries, red currants and wild strawberries, together with floral notes (violet petals) and minerals (graphite and iron filings). Some spicy touches brought by the ageing process, such as cinnamon and black pepper, also come through. Well integrated oak demonstrates the high quality of the oak selected. Powerfully structured on the palate with good body and firm, high-quality tannins of great elegance combine with wonderful acidity. A sensation of seamless solidity, without any aggressiveness whatsoever. Robust with great balance leading to a sensation of lovely freshness. Flavoursome and full, with layers of complex fruit flavour, minerality and spices. The aromas revealed on the nose return on the palate but with more definition and precision. A long, full and elegant finish. 

100 Points - James Suckling    I am speechless about this wine. It’s so deep and vertical with a stunning texture of super polished tannins and juicy acidity. Full body. Yet, it’s agile. Blackberries, black olives, chocolate, stone, cement and dried rosemary. Crazy wine. Blend of tempranillo and graciano. Release at the end of 2019. Better in 2024, but so great to taste young.

99 Points - Jeb Dunnuck    In the same ballpark as the Torre Muga, the 2016 Aro (70% Tempranillo and 30% Graciano) is a magical wine that does everything right. Showing a slightly more classical style with less polished oak, it offers a massive bouquet of ripe black and blue fruits, candied violets, and exotic spices. Deep and full-bodied on the palate, it's flawlessly balanced, has the purity and elegance of the vintage front and center, fabulous tannins, and a great, great finish. It's approachable today (and most 2016s seem to have plenty of upfront charm) yet has the balance, concentration, and purity to evolve for 30 years or more.

96 Points - Vinous    Deep, lurid violet. Hugely perfumed cherry, black currant and vanilla scents show outstanding clarity and pick up smoky mineral, oak spice and floral nuances with air. Juicy and seamless in texture, showing superb definition to intense black and blue fruit liqueur, spicecake and violet pastille flavors that smoothly blend depth and finesse. Delivers solid finishing cut, an echo of sweet dark berries and polished tannins that add gentle grip.

95 Points - Wine & Spirits    If you’re looking for epic Rioja, you’ve come to the right place. This is the Muga family’s top selection of tempranillo and graciano, spontaneously fermented in small wooden vats, then aged in new French oak barrels. It gives an immediate impression of power before its tough tannins and cold Spanish aloofness submit to the warmth of the cherry fruit, luscious and lasting for minutes. Muscular up front, deliciously ripe in the end, this wine will hold firm for years as the complexity of its flavors builds.

92 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate    The most unusual and backward of the wines in the Muga portfolio is the Graciano-rich blend 2016 Aro, a blend of Tempranillo with 30% Graciano that is only produced when Graciano ripens properly. The grapes come from a single vineyard that they now know quite well. 2016 was a good year for the grape, and the wine has notes of violets and dark chocolate, quite hedonistic and showy. The Graciano really lifts the Tempranillo, and the blend comes through as high pitched and vibrant, which is also the general style of the year from what I've seen. The oak is still present on the nose, and the palate shows quite tannic; the wine is going to benefit from a couple of years in bottle. If you like toasty, showy and hedonistic reds you could drink it now, but if you prefer more subtleness, you should wait for it.