Another Gran Reserva Rioja makes it into our Top Spanish Wines of 2020, this one being the Prado Enea from Bodegas Muga! A family-owned winery that was founded in 1932, Bodegas Muga is one of the “first growths” of Rioja according to Master of Wine Tim Atkins. It’s stylistically among the “more modern of the traditionalists,” which we’ve found to be a sweet spot for many of our customers. Fullbodied and densely-packed with ripe dark fruits, woodsy balsam, and the typical notes of bottle aging (tobacco, forest floor, truffle). There’s a velvet quality to the ample tannins (thanks to extended aging), along with enough acidity to give the wine life. It’s sure to impress almost any wine lover, especially accompanying rich dishes like roasts with truffle, as well as well-aged cheeses.
Despite the modern advances in winemaking of which Muga makes use, the old-world ways are certainly still a big influence on Prado Enea’s classical style: the fermentation happens naturally without added yeasts, in large 1000 Liter oak vats at natural temperatures, and a long 4 years aging in large American oak vats and smaller French oak barrels. In order to make a more complete wine, and as is typical in Rioja, the 80% Tempranillo is partnered with the classic varieties Garnacha, Mazuelo (aka Carignan), and Graciano.
JAMES SUCKLING'S #3 WINE OF THE YEAR OF 2019!
JAMES SUCKLING 99 POINTS - "The most structured Prado Enea ever. A reduced center palate that is so compact with dark fruit, dark mushrooms and cedary spice. Full body. Wonderfully polished tannins and a long, long finish. Electric acidity. Muscular and well toned. The is a new classic that reminds me of great Spanish wines from the 1940s and 1950s. Better after 2021, but already so impressive."
WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The most classical of the wines from Muga, the 2011 Prado Enea Gran Reserva comes from a warm year that here was cooler than 2012, when they did not produce it. There won't be a 2013 either. So after this 2011, the following vintage will be 2014 but with fewer bottles and then 2015 and 2016. The wine has a developed nose with some tertiary notes, combined with some notes of ripe black fruit and sweet spices. It fees like an open, expressive and hedonistic year for Prado Enea. The palate reveals polished tannins and some balsamic and developed flavors, truffle, forest floor and hints of cigar ash and incense. Stylistically, this could be close to the 2006, which was also surprisingly fresh for the average ripeness found in Rioja in general."