A deep, very dense black-cherry color. The nose reveals ripe, red berry fruit aromas together with notes of spices (pepper) and forest floor against a backdrop of coffee variations, such as milk coffee toffee and roasted coffee beans mingling with subtle well-integrated oak. Silky on the palate with tannins showing through, indicating the wine’s youth and good aging potential and providing an elegant and balanced structure.
95 Points - James Suckling A very pretty, manicured young red with plum, berry and dark-chocolate character. Medium body and round tannins that are focused and firm. Delicious, succulent finish. Plenty of subtle fruit and supple tannins take you to where you want to go in fine Rioja red. Drinkable now but linear and tight. Give it some time. Better after 2021.
94+ Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate The current vintage of the red that is their first option to have with food is the 2016 Selección Especial, whose grapes are selected from terraced vineyards in the Montes Obarenes and the Sierra Cantabria, from vines averaging 35 years of age. It fermented in oak vats and matured in French oak barrels for 26 months, and it's kept in bottle for at least 18 months before it's sold. This is serious and has freshness and some restraint in the palate; it's much more expressive, floral and aromatic and with more-integrated oak than the wines from five+ years ago. It's a more elegant vintage than the 2015 and every bit as good, or a tad better. Winemaker Isaac Muga considers 2016 a very good harvest. It was bottled in April 2019. This is among the best vintages of Selección Especial.
94 Points - Jeb Dunnuck Always a terrific wine, the 2016 Selección Especial is based on 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, and the rest Graciano and Mazuelo. Almost Rhône-like with its spicy, meaty, gamey style, this beauty offers lots of red and black currants, cedary spice, incense, and tobacco aromas and flavors. It's medium to full-bodied, has terrific balance, silky tannins, and is just a class act. The 2015 is a richer, more opulent wine, while the 2016 shows a touch more freshness and elegance. Both are beautiful vintages worth buying, cellaring, and drinking.
94 Points - Wilfred Wong of Wine The 2016 Muga Selección Especial is wine in the upper tier of the world's highest acclaimed red wines, and this vintage merits this level of accolades. This wine shows a powerful presence in its aromas and flavors of concentrated black fruit and substantial weight on the palate. Serve it with a grilled ribeye topped with diced shallots.