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Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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. 92,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in early 2015 after almost 40 months in barrel. Time in bottle has polished the wine, and it's ready to drink on release, but it's a wine that is going to develop in bottle for a long time.
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.
The wine exhibits an attractive, deep, cherry color. The nose is fresh and complex expressing aromas of blackberry forest fruit and prunes, while notes of cocoa, vanilla and subtle toast also come through denoting an ageing in top quality oak. Fresh on the palate with very well-integrated acidity. A lovely, pleasant mouth-feel with a good lingering finish. Clean and fresh with great ageing potential.
This wine pairs well with casseroles, meat dishes, fish and cheese; and it can even be enjoyed on its own, without any accompaniment.
Blend: 80% Tempranillo, 20% Grenache, Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano