TN: 1973 Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva Prado Enea

From my understanding, the labeling of this wine changed from ‘Reserva’ to ‘Gran Reserva’ at some point in 70s or 80s. Supposedly Muga always aged these way over the requirements for time in oak and the bottle for a reserva and changed the designation to reflect that aging.

I am always impressed with the longevity of these wines. This is my second encounter with this vintage of Muga Prado Enea. Ruby color with a bit of bricking on pouring and an initial nose of dried flowers and clove. Medium bodied and initially the palate was almost exclusively savory with celery root, smoke, leather with subtle red fruit. Brisk acidity for 45 year old wine. After a bit of air, the candied red fruit became more prominent. Definitely past peak but still a very interesting and enjoyable bottle. (89 pts.)

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wow where did you find this?

Oddly enough, we drank a '69 Prado Enea last night:

Dusty, potting soil, mushroom type aromas at first that lessened with air but didn’t entirely disappear. Orange peel, tobacco, some sweet decay/sous bois, a touch of aromatic oak still, and a bare thread of tangy acidic sweetness keep it from being totally dried out. I really dug it but it’s my kind of wine.

It’s sad…there was a pretty intense stylistic shift in their Prado Enea between the '96 & '98 vintages…I’m happy with the wines before '96 but have yet to encounter one after that I’m truly happy with or excited about.

I’ve only tasted wines before this time period, but what was the stylistic shift that happened?

To me the wines shifted from delicate and poised wines with a real sense of place into wines that were much more dense with more oak and extraction. I recall tasting the '98 on release and opening a '95 beside it to compare. The '95 looked like it was almost a rose in comparison. There was real tension and depth on the nose and the palate was lifted and elegant framed by the acidity. The '98 was opaque with only 4-5 oz. in the glass and smelled of oak, fruit extracts, and seemed to be more about weight and intensity. I bought a 2004 Prado Enea in the hopes that maybe there was just a shift in the barrel program that didn’t pan out…but a 2001 mirrored the '98 almost 5 years later…so I’m just sitting on my last 2004 in the hopes that 2 decades will shift it into a wine that I find mildly interesting.

Had the 04 en magnum recently; fine but not fully knit together and not as supple as the 2010.

Agree a different style from years ago

I can’t comment on the Prado, but the Seleccion Especial certainly seems to have shifted in that same period from a lighter, aromatic, classic Rioja to a dense, black, high alcohol wine showing overt French oak.

Good to know about the style change, as I’m patiently holding on to a couple of '95s.

Had a '70 Reserva that blew my socks off 3 years ago, but not much other older ones as Prado Enea GRs are few-and-far-between in wine-based dinners that I get to. I thought then that the '70 was in the same house style as the 2000 and 2004 that I had before. I agree that there is that density/oak/extraction with those recent ones, but I also thought that with the few ones I had, their overall make-up were still representative of the traditionalist Rioja style.

I’m jealous that you have some more of the 95’s. They’re probably some of my favorite memories associated with Rioja or Spanish wines. They’re just that special. I hope you post notes and share here when you do decide to open one.

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