The Wine of the Week
by Annette Tomei
2012 Bodegas Muga, Rosado, Rioja Alta DOCa, Spain
Muga Rosado has become the “go to” rosé for many new wine enthusiasts as they begin their exploration of the world of pink wines, and it has succeeded in creating many a convert. It is consistently ranked as one of the top “bargain rosés” as it typically falls below the $15 sweet spot and satisfies as well as many that cost much more.
Although the historic heart of the rosé universe is in southern France, one of the most common grapes – Grenache – thrives in Spain as Garnacha. This grape’s drought-resistant character made the 2012 vintage in Rioja all the better. The hot dry growing season yielded a vintage with well-developed fruit aromas and abundant malic acid (accentuating flavors of ripe apples).
Salmon-pink in color, the initial aroma was of steely roses, peach and spring flowers, which warmed up to apple, pear and delicate pastry. On the palate, bone-dry tart minerality, refreshing as cold steel balanced by ripe cherry and peach. This wine is rich enough to serve with an array of Mediterranean foods including olives, anchovies, sardines, and capers, but light enough to enjoy on its own or with light bites (try fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes and garden-fresh basil on crunchy baguette).
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