Muga, Prado Enea, Rioja Gran Reserva 2009
Simply put, this is one of the very finest reds being made at the moment. In fact, that's not quite true, because they have only made it once in the last decade, but that's besides the point. It is sensational wine. Not in the barn-storming sense, but in a complex, elegant, layered and refined manner that really makes you stop and think.
Picked from the best plots of their own estates, these grapes are some of the best in Rioja Alta and are often the latest picked in the region, but don't get made into a massive wines for the purpose of pure power, but for longevity and elegance.
The palate is fleshy and broad, but not heavy or full in any normal sense; complexity and flavour are kings here with structure having done the job of delivering the wine to us in its current form. Gentle, medium-bodied, silky and round. You can probably tell that we like this one.
From one of the great houses of Haro, Muga's wines are all worth getting excited about. They are the perfect living example of how to balance tradition with an embracing of the new, using oak in every part of the winemaking process, fining with egg whites (between 2 and 3 are enough for 100 litres), and yet a complete understanding of the technology in terms of vineyard research, fermentation processes, technical analyses, quality management and ISO standards that have only been available in the last twenty years or so. The results are so obviously brilliant that one wonders why others aren't all flocking to follow-on from Muga's example. It could well be the cost that this devotion incurs as these are expensive philosophies to adopt; whatever the reason, there are few who consistently produce such recognisably smooth, complex and delicious wines a Muga. We're lucky to have them.
- Fine Dining
- Hard Cheeses
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