Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva Rioja 2016


One of our favourite Rioja Gran Reserva's.


Along Torre Muga brand, the Prado Enea crop is always the last to be brought into the winery and is selected from plots located in the area of Villalba de Rioja, on the south-facing slope of the Montes Obarenes, a recognised high-quality terroir. The grapes are fermented in oak vats without temperature control or addition of yeasts. The period of maceration is 16 days. Followed by at least 36 months in mainly French oak barrels. At the end of the ageing period, the wine is lightly fined with fresh egg whites before being bottled and kept in our cellars for at least another 36 months to complete the ageing process. Winery

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.

"This Gran Reserva Prado Enea displays an attractive, deep, dense cherry-red colour. A stylish nose of black fruits mingling with spices, gingerbread and liquorice. The soft, supple entry on the palate leads to a sensation of gentle power and air-light volume underpinned by cashmere silky tannins, harmoniously balanced by fresh acidity. Creamy, vanilla notes come through in the finish with ripe fruit. This wine is tempting to drink now, but it will age well for years.

The grapes for Prado Enea are always the last to be harvested. This is because of the careful selection of high-altitude plots with a fine quality, located in the north-west of the Rioja Alta, in the villages of Sajazarra, Cellorigo and Fonzaleche. The grapes ferment in oak vats with no addition of yeast or temperature control. The maceration period is for 16 days. This is followed by a minimum 36 months in French and American oak casks. At the end of the cask ageing the wine is lightly fined with egg whites before bottling and is then stored in our cellars for at least another 36 months, in order to complete the ageing process." Winery notes

"The expressive, complex and nuanced 2016 Prado Enea Gran Reserva is a textbook traditional Rioja in the making. 2016 was a very elegant year, with aging potential, volume and very good acidity and freshness. It's full-bodied but fine-boned, has 14.5% alcohol, a pH of 3.6 and 5.25 grams per liter acidity. It has terrific balance, with all the components in the right proportion to age superbly in bottle. They have also been working on the selection of wood used. This wine matured in French and American oak barrels for three years, and the oak is super integrated. 127,808 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2020. It was an exceptional year with volume and quality. Drink 2024-2040" 97+/100 Parker's Wine Advocate, Luis Gutierrez

"#10 - Top 100 Wines of Spain 2023. Complex aromas of dark fruit with violets, walnuts and chocolate. Classy. It's full-bodied with plush yet fine velvety tannins, and a precise and pointed finish. Juicy and savory. Tight finish. It's very long. This is beautiful now but will be even better in three or four years. Linear and vertical at the same time. Try after 2026." 97/100 James Suckling