2005 Bodegas Muga "Prado Enea" Gran Reserva Rioja (Pre-Arrival)
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+. (NM)
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
Wine & Spirits
The Muga family originally came from Villalba, a hill town in Rioja Alta where they still farm small plots of old vines. At these high elevations, the grapes ripen late, producing Prado Enea in favorable harvests. This 2005 captures the personality of Rioja in its scents of roasted piquillo peppers and fresh woodland blueberries. For now, it feels supercharged with oak, its musky complexity hidden underneath. This is built for long aging, and warrants at least five years in the cellar to allow the oak to fade into the background. Theres a great wine lying in wait.