Vina Muriel, Reserva, Rioja, Spain
Rioja is a town in North Central Spain. It’s about 2 hours drive from Bilbao in a valley along the Ebro River. The entire valley is moderated by the Sierra Cantabria, a small but jagged mountain range that stops clouds from coming into the Rioja valley.
Besides wine, the area is known for its delicious tiny artichokes, white asparagus and piquillo peppers. For wine, the area is split into 3 sections: there’s Rioja Baja, Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa (next to Alava). Rioja Alta and Alvesa are most prestigious of these areas and are responsible for the best wines of Rioja due to the altitude and soils.
In our opinion, the perfect Rioja has to be a fantastic balance between oak and fruit. The Vina Muriel has been made with Tempranillo grapes from the region of Elciego in the heart of the Alvesa region. The wine ages for 24 months, with three rackings, in American and French oak barrels of 225-litre capacity. The wine then remains in the bottle for 2 years. Bodegas Vina Muriel is regarded for producing some of the finest wine in the whole of Rioja.
A balance of fine oak (vanilla, herb and spices) with dried fruit such as raisins, caramel and a hint of leather and tobacco. The aromas become more intense and complex as the wine begins to breathe. On the palate, the wine is perfectly Rioja, full of velvet silkiness and finesse with the balance of oak and fruit. A stunning wine.