1996 Bodegas Muga "Prado Enea" Gran Reserva Rioja

SKU #1018566 94 points Wine & Spirits

 Classical Rioja. At first I thought I could be satisfied just smelling this wine. There's a particular balance of leather, clay-scented earth, red cherry and red spice in great Rioja Alta Tempranillo that blows the doors off all the more heavily extracted versions from other regions with its unholy elegance. And this has it, like a gypsy drawing you in to taste how those complexities play off succulent red fruit and blacker, bittersweet tannin. The staying power is exceptional, as is the beautiful form. Drink now through 2020, with duck confit or rack of lamb.  (12/2005)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium red. Superripe aromas of plum and coconut, with notes of leather and tobacco. Fat, silky and sweet, with lovely depth of roasted redcurrant and plum flavor and a complicating, slightly funky leathery nuance; firm acids give the wine a penetrating quality. Finishes nutty and long. A classic old-style Rioja. I would pour this into a decanter and serve it straightaway. (ST)  (9/2005)

Wine Spectator

 Mellow flavors and a muscular structure characterize this mature red. Offers coffee, leather and spicy notes that blend seamlessly over firm tannins. A core of berry fruit emerges on the finish. (TM)  (11/2005)

K&L Notes

In June 2005, Robert Parker rated the wine 92 points, saying: "The Chateau Rayas of Rioja may be the light to medium ruby-colored 1996 Prado Enea Gran Reserva, a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Grenache, Mazuelo, and Graciano. A classic effort with more flavor intensity and complexity than its light to medium ruby hue suggests, it is fully mature yet remarkably fresh, youthful, and vigorous. The wine hits the palate with unexpected intensity as well as flavor authority in addition to a medium to full-bodied, long finish. This singular, distinctive offering should last another 6-10 years." (In a follow-up dated June 2010, former Advocate writer Jay Miller gave the wine 90 points.)

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Price: $99.99
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- 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 Penèdes 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.


- 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.