Muga Prodo Enea Gran Reserva Rioja Reserva Spain, 2006, 750
"A powerful and layered red with ripe berry, cedar and licorice notes. Roses and sandalwood. Full body, very deep and intense. Changing all the time in the glass. A superb wine. Drink or hold."
"The 2006 Prado Enea is a phenomenal bottle of traditional Rioja at its best. A blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and the remaining 10% Mazuelo and Graciano aged for a long time in oak and bottled before release. This is a practice quite common from yesteryear, but that is a true rarity today. The technical data provided talks about incredible parameters, 14% alcohol and a pH of 3.39, both extremely low for a warm vintage like 2006. The grapes are sourced from higher-altitude terraced plots where the climate is cooler and drier and the soils are rich in clay. This is a wine that is not automatically produced every year. The wine spends its elevage in oak containers of different size, origin and age for no less than three years. The nose is intoxicating with a superb mixture of tertiary and more primary aromas like old furniture, cloves, cracked pepper, incense and cigar ash plus cherries in liqueur (that Garnacha!). The palate is medium-bodied, with great freshness (Jorge Muga tells me the pH is stabilized with aging in barrel), acidity and balance, with a silky texture, ultra-fine tannins and great persistence and length. This wine feels younger than it is, and seems to be aging at a glacial pace. With the stuffing and balance it has this should make very old bones, and drink greatly throughout its life. Superb! At this quality level the price seems like a bargain. 90,000 bottles produced. The next Prado Enea will be 2009 as they didn't get what they look for in this wine in either 2007 and 2008. Those were two cold vintages, and 2007 had 100 liters of rain during the harvest. Prado Enea is harvested in November and in 2008 there was frost at the end of October."