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CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 2004

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • WS95
  • RP92
13.8% ABV
  • WE95
  • RP94
  • WS92
  • JS94
  • WS93
  • WE92
  • RP93
  • WE91
  • WS90
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13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#1 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2013

The 2004 Cune Imperial Gran Reserva has a rich nose and is enticing with black and red berry fruit and licorice notes.The palate is generously fruity with toasty oak, supple tannins and savory balsamic nuances and a long finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 95
Wine Spectator
Firm and a bit austere, this red shows depth and drive, with chewy tannins supporting plum, tobacco, licorice and mineral flavors. The structure is solid but the wine remains fresh. Maturing now, this has a long life ahead.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2004 Imperial Gran Reserva is 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo aged in new French and American oak for 24 months. Deep crimson-colored, it gives up aromas of toast, spice box, espresso, blackberry, and plum. Medium to full-bodied, on the palate it displays a plush texture, ripe flavors, excellent volume and concentration, and a relatively forward personality.
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CVNE
CVNE, Rioja, Spain
Image of winery
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.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation—Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja—wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

ENG127908_2004 Item# 127908