2005 Bodegas Muga "Prado Enea" Gran Reserva Rioja

SKU #1116565 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Prado Enea Gran Reserva spends 36-months in oak, nine months in new oak after which it is racked into American oak that is "semi-new" (i.e. a new barrel that is "broken in" with a wine beforehand). It has an unashamedly opulent bouquet of primal, ripe, boysenberry, mulberry, dark chocolate and crushed violets that blossom with aeration. The palate is full-bodied with crisp acidity cutting through the pure blackberry and cassis fruit. It has wonderful focus and intensity, though the finish demonstrates convincing composure. This is an outstanding Gran Reserva whose silky texture will instantly win you over. Drink 2013-2030+. Bodegas Muga was a must during my afternoon visiting the triumvirate of classic Rioja producers located within spitting distance from each other in Haro. The name should need no introduction. It was founded by Aurora Cano and her husband Isaac in 1932, although the family were growers and did not commence winemaking themselves until the 1960s, when they relocated to the building in Barrio de la Estacion. Under Aurora’s son, Isaac Jnr, who joined us for the tasting, Muga fostered a reputation for high quality, classic Rioja wine sourced from an almost incalculable number of tiny parcels. During the 1990s they branched out to pursue what you might call "modern" Rioja with the inception of "Torre Muga" in 1991.  (8/ 2012)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (80% tempranillo, with garnacha, mazuelo and graciano; aged in large oak vats for 16 months, followed by another 36 months in small oak barrels and then another 3 years in bottle before release): Deep ruby. Heady, mineral-tinged red fruit and rose scents are complemented by star anise, vanilla and woodsmoke. Supple, seamless and concentrated, offering intense raspberry, cherry and rose pastille flavors underscored by zesty minerality. Shows uncommon finesse for its power and finishes sweet, focused and extremely long. For the money, this is a crazy value.  (9/ 2013)

K&L Notes

This is an excellent vintage of one of the truly great, collectible, must-have Riojas. If you are getting into cellaring Riojas (which, of course, we hope you are as the wines age beautifully!) then this is a terrific cellar candidate. "Prado Enea" is the flagship, the most steadfastly traditional wine from the Bodegas Muga stable. While it has the combination of spice and savor, high toned fruit and challk, heady floral aromatics and sumptuous berry fruit that the best Riojas show, it manages to offer both the finer fragrance and greater intensity of flavor on the palate that only the best vintages bring to the table. This is a terrific wine to put down in the cellar and share with friends in another several years - or much longer, if you prefer. What can we say - this is awesome Rioja, a classic. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine buyer)

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Price: $49.99

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By: Keith Mabry |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 2/6/2013  | Send Email
The Prado Enea is the most traditional bottling Muga produces and it is always my favorite. The 2005 is no slouch with a sleek mouthfeel, dark current flavors, toasted sage aromas and a hint of burnished leather. This is a touch more extroverted than the 2004 and that is fine by me. Approachable now or cellar worthy for many years to come.

By: Joe Manekin |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 1/22/2013  | Send Email
I have fond memories of a 1996 Prado Enea enjoyed around 2005, if memory serves. The wine was delicious, showing everything I love in authentic gran reserva Rioja: intense fruit, spice, fragrant leather, and perhaps most importantly, balanced acidity. This was a wine hitting on all cylinders, both on the nose and the palate, in a way that, to my tastes anyway, only great Burgundy, Barolo, northern Rhone wines -and yes, Rioja - manage. Though the wine was delicious, it clearly was a bit firm yet and had more to say. This 05 Prado Enea reminds me a great deal of that '96. I have no doubt that, tasty as it is now, it will repay patient cellaring.

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Tempranillo

- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penčdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.
Country:

Spain

- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.
Sub-Region:

Rioja

Alcohol Content (%): 14