x
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035

The Story

Prado Enea is the flagship wine at Muga, a steadfastly traditional Gran Reserva that is typically only produced 4 or so years per decade. A few key data points make it unique. Let's begin with the vines themselves, which are located in Sajazarra, a village amongst the coldest growing regions of Rioja Alta, further west from Haro and with harvest dates that typically extend well into October, even into November! In addition to Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and approximately 10% Mazuelo and Graciano are blended in. This creates freshness as the latter two are higher acid grapes, which tends to result in fresh, low pH wines that age for long periods of time. Finally, in the cellar, there are various types and formats of wood vessels, from huge "tinas" to smaller new barrels, which are employed through experienced, time tested elevage to provide the wine ample opportunity to develop its stability and complexity.

Along with the grapes for Torre Muga, the Prado Enea grapes are always the last to be brought into the winery. In this way we ensure an ideal level of ripeness. The grapes are always fermented in 10,000 kilo capacity oak vats without temperature control and no addition of yeasts. The maceration period varies but can continue for as long as twenty days. This wine is aged for 12 months in 16,000-litre oak vats, thirty-six months (minimum) in oak casks and thirty-six months (minimum) in the bottle. After ageing it is lightly fined using fresh egg whites.

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Written Notes

I was really looking forward to the 2010 Prado Enea Gran Reserva, as I've seen a very good improvement in this cuvée in the last few vintages, and 2010 is one of the more-balanced vintages of recent times. This is the most classical among the wines in the portfolio, the one with the longer élevage, a little bit like the wines from yesteryear but with today's knowledge about vineyards and vinification/élevage. This has settled to a blend of approximately 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and the remaining 10% between Mazuelo and Graciano, from the cooler, higher-altitude vineyards, which means they only bottle it every two or three years. In recent years, 2007 and 2008 were not bottled. It ferments in small oak vats built by their own tonneliers, and they like to delay malolactic until the spring by opening the windows so the cold from outside comes into the winery. For the aging, each variety goes into separate barrels racked from newer to older barrels to complete some 36 months or three years. It has very healthy and balanced parameters, and that's what the wine feels like. It's still young. It's never a dark wine, more of a ruby or bright color, and it has a nose of youth, subtle and elegant. But the quality shows in the unbelievable elegance and harmony on the palate, where the tannins are very fine, the flavors are subtle but deep and the length is just phenomenal. This is only medium-bodied, with perfect ripeness and integrated acidity. This should have a very long life in bottle, especially as I had the chance to check the evolution of the 2004 next to this. 90,000 bottles were produced from 2010. The following vintages will be 2011, 2014 (a small bottling) and 2015.

Responsibility for whites and rosés has been transferred to Isaac Muga, while his brother Jorge makes all the reds. I tasted all the available whites and rosés to see what's going on. There is a new top of the range rosé, Flor de Muga, and they are also working to create a new white with mostly Viura, Garnacha Blanca and Maturana Blanca, aiming perhaps for the 2018 harvest. We had a long and relaxed tasting, and they reached for some older vintages when we were discussing vintage similarities, so I can offer you some opinions about the evolution of some past wines.

 

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Origin

Haro, Rioja

Highlights

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