CVNE Imperial Reserva Rioja 2011
Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Deep cherry color with shades of shiny red. To the nose, aromas of berries and licorice balanced by hints of clove, rosemary, thyme and tobacco leaves coming from the oak cask aging. To the palate, it shows its elegance thanks to a gentle tannin providing roundness and freshness. The wine tastes for long in the palate, with an interestingly complex aftertaste. Game and red meats are ideal pairings for this wine.
Blend: 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo
James Suckling - "Enticing aromas of ripe strawberries and raspberries with a mineral and salty character. Iodine, too. Tree bark. Full body, fine-grained and concentrated tannins and a long and clean, salty and light coffee finish. Great balance and structure. As it should be. Drink or hold."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Deep ruby. Ripe cherry, black currant and pungent flowers on the expansive nose, accompanied by vanilla and pipe tobacco nuances that build in the glass. Sweet and energetic on the palate, offering intense, oak-tinged red and dark berry flavors and a hint of candied rose. Fine-grained tannins lend shape to the clinging finish, which shows excellent clarity and smooth, slow-building tannins."
The Wine Advocate - "There is a clear step up from the Cune range to Imperial, starting with the 2011 Imperial Reserva. Cropped from a ripe vintage, it is the usual Tempranillo with some Graciano and a pinch of Mazuelo fermented in stainless steel and matured in oak barrels for two years. This is braver than the 2010, with more present tannins, still young and unevolved. It has the elements to develop more complexity with hints of spices and leather, fruit and American wood notes. The palate is medium-bodied, perhaps not as expressive and open as the 2010. One more year in bottle should do it good."
Wine Spectator - "Black currant and kirsch flavors mingle with dark chocolate and espresso notes in this rich red. Smoky and tarry notes add a savory element. Firm tannins support the polished texture, while balsamic acidity lingers on the spicy finish. Drink now through 2021."
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Cvne, is situated in Rioja in the traditional neighborhood of the station, where the oldest wineries of Rioja Alta established themselves, for the main reason of transporting their goods to the port of Bilbao.
In 1879, two brothers decided to set up a business in the recently flourishing trade of the wine business. C.V.N.E., Compañía Vinicola del Norte de España (The Northern Spanish Wine Company) or la Cuné, as it is commonly known in Haro, was created. This cellar still reflects the origins of the company and is kept in the traditional neighborhood of the Haro station.
The Cune winery in Haro, is made up of a group of buildings, mostly from the 19th century and arranged around a courtyard surrounded by pavilions for the purpose of wine production, aging, and bottling. View all CVNE Wines
About RiojaView a map of Rioja wineries (ree-OH-hah) Spain makes some of the best Tempranillo-based wines in the world. Once the only DOCa (recently joined by Priorat in 2001), Rioja is divided into 3 sub-regions: Rioja Baja, Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa. There are 4 red varieties and 3 white varieties allowed in the Rioja DOC. Tempranillo definitely takes center stage, followed by Garnacha (Grenache), which is sometimes added for body, then Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan). The region also makes roses. For whites, the main grape is Viura (or Macebo), producing fresh, early-drinking wines. Malvasia, the grape that was once the most planted white, is found less often.
Notable FactsThe Rioja wine trade is somewhat confusing. Grapes are typically brought to a merchant's bodega from one of the 20,000+ growers in the region, or via a cooperative. The wine is then bottled and labelled by that bodega. Rioja's Consejo Regulador keeps track of all vineyards and bodegas to make sure they are following the DOCa regulations. Put in place to ensure quality, the system also controls prices.
As with the rest of Spain, the wine label may state Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, depending on barrel & bottle maturation. Crianzas are usually found within two years of the vintage and offer fresh, ripe wines. Reserva and Gran Reserva will be found a few years after the vintage, as the bodega will be aging the wines in barrel and bottle before release. Both typically show more secondary characteristics of spice and oak ageing.
The most popular red varieties of Spain include Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Whites don't garner quite as much recognition, but there are some regional varieties not to be missed, like Albarino and Verdejo. The popular red regions of Spain include Rioja, known for its outstanding wines of the Tempranillo grape; Ribera del Duero, producing high quality reds from Tempranillo and Garnacha; Galacia, with the sub-region of Rias Baixas, home to the deliciously crisp and floral Albarino grape; and Priorat, a region increasing in popularity with its high-quality cult reds. Other regions of note are Rueda, growing the Verdejo grape, La Mancha, a wide desert region, covered in the most planted white variety in the world, Airen, and Jumilla, making wines based on Monastrell (Mourvedre).
Spain's wine laws are based on the Denominacion de Origen (DO) classification system, devised in the 1930's. A four tiered system, the most basic level is Vina de Mesa (table wine) followed by Vino de la Tierra (country wine), DO and at the top DOC. Currently, only Rioja and Priorat have DOC status, while over 65 DO's scatter the country.
Most DO regions are classified and regulated by how long they age the wines. On a red wine label, one may find the terms Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, denoting the wine's barrel and bottle time. Crianza is usually two years between barrel and bottle (the time in each depends on the DO and/or the winemaker), Reserva up to 4 years and Gran Reserva 5 – 6 years. Classifications of each region and wine are controlled by the region's Consejo Regulador.
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