The creme of Rioja red, Muga only makes this Gran Reserva in the best years. Select old vines from elevated vineyards produce such encompassing ripe fruit and savoury layering that it's hard to believe it's technically medium-bodied. It is fermented old-style, with natural yeast in large oak vats for a year, then a minimum three years in barrel and three in bottle before release. The heart and soul Rioja.
Usually about 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano.
Bodega Muga was founded in Haro in 1932 and is still in family ownership; the company farms 250 hectares in La Rioja Alta and in addition has long-standing contracts with the owners of another 150 hectares. Located in the foothills of the Montes Obarenses, the five principal vineyards (El Estepal, La Loma, Blatracones, La Loma Alta, and Sajazarra) share clay and limestone soils, each with its own unique microclimate, informed by the happy coincidence of continental, Mediterranean and Atlantic influences. The extended Muga family controls all aspects of the production and advocates the complexity afforded by the entire canon of grapes, that is to say Tempranillo, of course for the red, but also Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano in addition to Viura and Malvasia for the whites.
What The Critics Say
99/100 James Suckling (2011 vintage)
"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."
96/100 Parker's wine Advocate, Luiz Gutierrez (2011 vintage)
"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." Drink 2019 - 2032
96/100 Decanter, Sara Jane Evans MW (2011 vintage)
"Muga's wines just keeping getting better, whether you prefer a modern style or a grand classic as here. The Tempranillo blend includes 20% Graciano, Garnacha and Mazuelo, and is delightfully classical, from an exuberant vintage. It’s nevertheless very refined, mid-weight, with pure fruit and fine tannins. Sensible people may keep it in the cellar, but it’s lovely now."