Prado Enea Gran Reserva 2004, Muga Rioja

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Prado Enea is the top wine of one of the most traditional wine-makers in Rioja, Muga. A look at their very slick web-site is, for a wine enthusiast, very informative and fascinating. I’m not going to repeat what’s there so I do recommend a visit to the web-site. The wine we tried on Sunday is made from grapes that are the last to be harvested and, therefore, have the most ‘hang-time’ to develop flavour and, subsequently, have four years contact with oak. Anyway, have a read.

The intense black core showed a brick-coloured rim, with evidence of its 14% ABV clinging to the insides of the glass. The first smell impression was one of smokiness, quickly followed by leather, tar and black fruits but then came the enticing notes of sweet, delicate fruits – possibly cherries. The overriding impression was, despite the age, one of freshness. It had, as can be seen from the descriptions, an intriguing complexity.

There was plenty of life in this wine. The palate showed savoury notes and a lean quality which was refreshingly ‘old style’, with the acidity lifting the wine, helping balance its undoubted body. This was a wine of undoubted quality, very well-made and one that will last another 10-20 years. It reminded me of the half-bottle of 1964 Rioja blogged before, old and fresh at the same time.

The blend is 70% Tempranillo, then 20% of Graciano, Garnacha and Mazuelo (the Carignan grape).

[Richard: years ago when we visited the Costa Blanc for holidays I always looked – often unsuccessfully –  for Muga in the supermarkets and it remains my favourite Spanish wine-maker. Bought from the WS in 2012 for a bargain £29. Very smooth, silky, yet lean mouth feel, rather atypical nose – not as leather/tar as usual, almost cabernet at times, very complex taste and exceptionally easy to drink despite being 14%. Very good.]

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