Juan Magaña founded his winery in Barillas in 1970, began making wine in 1976, and today shares winemaking responsibilities with his son, Diego. The Magaña family owns 120 hectares of vineyard land in the limestone plateau south of the Ebro River in Navarra. Many of the vine clones planted in this microclimate come from the same nursery that supplied vines to Chateaux Petrus in the 70s. One of the greatest virtues of the Magaña wines is its ability to age low soil ph and its Pomerol cuttings bring these wines to another time zone. These wines age slowly and gracefully, combining elements of tobacco, cassis and bright acid. Its Mediterranean-influenced climate brings about a dry-sweet tannicity that is rich yet elegant at the same time. Magana Reserva is not only a wine already aged at the cellar of the bodega (the finest provenance possible), but also does not cost what it should. Enjoy a great terroir that makes fine wines of elegance and structure.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? A wine that has been aged at the winery (finest provenance) for a total of 14-16 years before its release. The vineyard has limestone soil and the vines were propagated from Petrus Merlot cuttings (181 Class A). The vineyard has a unique microclimate that helps produce Bordeaux-like (Pomerol) wines with good acidity. Magaña communicates with precision the mineral identity of the soil of this special vineyard.
RATING HISTORY: 1997 91WA
GRAPE: 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Tempranillo and 5% Syrah. Vines planted in 1970. Tended in limestone soil with river stones at 335 m (1,099 ft) elevation. This is a vegan wine.
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Lamb and veal fit the bill, as does partridge, pheasant, game hen, duck and chicken, especially when roasted. The richly layered flavors of Merlot also find a perfect foil in sauces based on wild or heirloom mushrooms.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: After fermentation the wine is blended and aged for 24 months in French oak barrels. Soon after the wine is bottled and aged in the winery celler for at least 14 years before its release.
PRODUCTION: 233 cases (6 pack)
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: Zone 4, at an elevation of 335 meters (1,099 ft.). The vineyards are just 400 meters from the Rioja border south of Alfaro. Of the five districts in Navarra, Ribera Baja, where Magaña is located, is unique compared to the other districts because of its limestone bedrock and distinct microclimate. The winery is located in the town of Barillas. For soils, thick river stones sit atop solid limestone bedrock. The climate is classified in Zone 4, Continental and Mediterranean. In short, it is warm and dry. Magaña's temperatures from April-October average 63.7F with low levels of rainfall, 8.3 inches per year. The microclimate of the Magaña vineyards imparts a hearty character to these wines, making them richer, beefier and vibrant with bright acidity, all of which helps them age for many years!
TASTING NOTES: Magana Reserva combines elements of tobacco, cassis and bright acid. Its Mediterranean-influenced climate brings about a dry-sweet tannicity that is rich yet elegant at the same time. on the mid-palate, it showcases black-cherries, almonds, and roasted herbs. It is medium to full-bodied, with a velvety finish.
All photos: Friederike Paetzold