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BODEGAS VINAE MURERI

Region: Aragón
Appellation: Vino de la Tierra Ribera del Jiloca
City: Murero
Winery Website: www.vinaemureri.com
Winery GPS Coordinates: 41.159, -1.482

OVERVIEW

In 2001, José Antonio Martín returned to his remote birthplace with the goal of recuperating the ancient Garnacha vines on the slate hillsides of Jiloca’s Pago de la Moratilla — reputedly the birthplace of the variety. Altitudes well over 3000 feet, extreme vine age, scant yields and careful fruit handling maximize complexity and ageworthiness.

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HISTORY

José Antonio Martín was born and raised in the high, remote Jiloca River Valley, and fondly recalls a youth spent among the vineyards of his forefathers in Murero's Pago de la Moratilla. Returning later in life with friends including noted Spanish wine authorities, the latent treasure of the area's nearly forgotten old Garnacha vines was clear. In 2001, a partnership was formed to recuperate the old vines of the family estate and gradually acquire additional plots of old vines from local growers looking to retire. A new bodega was finished in time for the début 2003 harvest.

Ribera del Jiloca is the highest growing region in Zaragoza province, located in the mountainous geographic center of the region of Aragón. Vineyard elevations range between 2900 and 4000 feet, and the slopes consist primarily of exposed slate, with important Cambrian fossil deposits of trilobytes murerienses. Climate is Continental with mild Mediterranean influence, and it is widely thought that the Garnacha variety originated here.

Approximately 85 acres are currently in production, with an average age approaching 80 years and yields averaging less than 700 pounds (1/3 ton!) per acre. All vineyard labor is done manually due to the inaccessible slopes.

Production of approximately 60,000 bottles is divided between unoaked and oak aged wines. Barrels are a combination of French, American and Hungarian oak. Firm and muscular with gripping tannins balanced by low-yield fruit concentration and pronounced minerality, these are unique Garnachas with special appeal to those who normally prefer the denser structure and bright fruit of Cabernet or Syrah.

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PRESS

Xiloca (2012) - "Bright ruby-red. Ripe cherry and black raspberry on the fragrant nose and in the mouth. Smooth and open-knit, with a peppery nuance adding bite and lift. Closes spicy and taut, with good cling but no obvious tannins."

88 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2014

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Murero (2005) - "This opaque and midnight blue colored Spanish Grenache opens with a rum cake and raisin like bouquet. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, balanced, and smooth. The flavor profile is a tasty old oak infused black plum with notes of raisin and boysenberry. The finish is dry and its moderate tannins are very dusty and stick around for quite some time. This wine is very old school and won't be for everyone. I would pair it in the near term with roasted duck breast. Enjoy."

90 Points
Ken Hoggins, Ken's Wine Guide, Jan 1, 2013

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Murero (2005) - "Opaque ruby.  Aromas and flavors of red and dark berry preserves, rose pastille, star anise and vanilla, with a bright mineral topnote.  Juicy black raspberry and floral pastille flavors show excellent depth and energy, with gentle acidity adding lift and focus.  The red fruit quality dominates the finish, which shows impressive clarity and length."

91 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2012

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Xiloca (2009) - "The 2009 Xiloca is 100% Garnacha with a very fragrant perfume of earthy minerality and black cherries. This tasty, friendly, value-priced offering has ample fruit as well as a sense of elegance. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. "

89 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Jul 1, 2011

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Xiloca (2008) - "The 2008 Xiloca Garnacha is a unoaked cuvee sourced from a parcel of old vines. Medium ruby red in color, it displays a nose of spicy cherries and floral notes. Easy-going on the palate with lively acidity and savory flavors, it will provide pleasurable drinking at a fair price over the next 3 years."

87 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Apr 30, 2010

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Muret (2007) - "The 2007 Muret (Blue Label) is 100% Garnacha aged in barrel for 8 months. Dark ruby red with a pleasant perfume of cherry, incense, mineral, and lavender, on the palate it is smooth-textured, friendly, and concentrated. It has enough structure to drink well for another 4-5 years."

88 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Apr 30, 2010

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Muret 'Plata' - "The 2006 Muret Plata is 80% Garnacha and 20% Tempranillo aged for eight months in American, Hungarian, and French oak. Dark ruby-colored, it is nicely perfumed with notes of mineral, incense, cherry, and blackberry. Sweetly fruited, medium-bodied, and well-balanced, it will evolve for another 1-2 years and drink well through 2016."

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Jun 30, 2009

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Muret "Black Label" (2007) - "The 2007 Muret Oro is an unoaked cuvee of 100% Garnacha from steep slate hillsides. Dark ruby-colored, it has an attractive nose of fragrant cherries that jumps from the glass. On the palate mineral notes make an appearance along with a bit of tannin. This tasty effort will provide pleasure over the next four years."

88 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Jun 30, 2009

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Muret (2004) - "Vinae Mureri was founded only in 2001 but its vines average 80 years of age and give off ridiculously low yields of 1/3 ton of fruit per acre. The estate is planted primarily in Garnacha with a small amount of old-vine Tempranillo. The 2004 Muret is 80% Garnacha and 20% Tempranillo and was aged 4 months in barrel. Dark ruby-colored, it offers a spicy, red cherry, red currant-scented nose. This is followed by a wine with excellent concentration, a good core of fruit, and abundant tannins. The wine needs several years of bottle age to come into balance with the odds in its favor."

88 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2007

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Muret (2004) - "Medium red. Expressive, fresh scents of raspberry, wild strawberry and redcurrant. Juicy and sweet, the red berry flavors showing excellent purity and freshness; acids are brisk but not sharp, bringing good lift. Finishes juicy and long, with a light touch to the tasty strawberry and raspberry flavors. I like this. "

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2006

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Murero (2004) - "Bright red. Explosive, floral bouquet of ripe strawberry, raspberry, mocha and vanilla bean. A big mouthful of sweet fruit with no sign of earth or game notes, just a luscious array of red berries and a brightening mineral note. Juicy, fresh and long on the back, with a compelling sappy quality. This is gorgeous. "

92 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2006

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