Sometimes we figure we just need a treat – no special occasion, just a treat for the sake of it. One such evening a couple of weeks ago, we popped the cork on a bottle of 1996 Prado Enea from Bodegas Muga.
“Massive fruit, subtlety, maturity, complexity, and elegance” was the descriptor in John Radford’s classic book The Wines of Rioja. Massive fruit indeed. The aroma was like jumping feet first into an ocean of dark, luscious berries without a life preserver – but then, who’d want one when you’re surrounded by this much heady fragrance?
“The notes from the winemaker said ‘medium depth’,” Frank volunteered, naturally having already done the research. “So why do I want to say: oh go on, learn to toot your own horn?”
We soon discovered this wine stands up to even the ISO glasses. Chocolate and a subtle note of leather began to emerge as the evening wore on, but it was the contemplative nature we perhaps enjoyed most – feeling the heart and soul of the winemaker and the soil.
At one point, Frank brought out two Amarone/Burgundy glasses just because. His eyes went wide as he sniffed. “Oh god, if you thought this was in your face berry, it’s slap your cheek berry out of these ones.” Still, we agreed it was also a bit sloppy on the tongue and went back to our Riedel Tempranillo stemware.
No question, this is a wine to linger over. It needs conversation more than food but goes well with either. One to remember.
– Prado Enea Gran Reserva 1996
– 80% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano
– Aged for 12 months in wooden vats, 36 months in oak barrels, and at least 36 months in bottle
– This bottle cost $63 and was found at our local BC Liquor Store
– Bodegas Muga employs four full-time coopers to repair and rebuild their 18,000-litre tinas as well as to look after the bodega’s casks
– All wines are in oak – this wine producer uses no stainless steel, fiberglass, or concrete tanks
– The bodega was founded in 1932 when most people were sitting back waiting for the next upturn in Spain’s economy