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CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 2011

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • WE97
  • V94
  • RP93
  • W&S93
  • WS92
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • TA97
  • WE95
  • RP94
  • WS92
  • JS94
  • WS93
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  • WS90
  • WS95
  • RP92
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Winemaker Notes

Imperial is one of the great wines of Spain. A classic Rioja born in the twenties. Imperial is only elaborated in excellent vintages in Rioja Alta.

Intense garnet color with bluish notes on the meniscus. In the nose we discover a perfect aromatic balance where the fruits of the forest and licorice stand out along with the aromas from pine, cigar leaf and sweet spices. Through the palate it is marked by a soft tannin followed by a long and elegant finish, which leads us to a balsamic aftertaste leaving us the memory of a round and balanced wine able to be paired with cheeses, red meat, game and fatty fish, even to take simply with someone else.

Blend: 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, 5% Mazuelo

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 97
Wine Enthusiast

This is a fabulous gran reserva from a very good but lightly heralded vintage. Aromas of spiced plum, black olive, fig, tobacco and cassis come together like a puzzle. A deep, pure palate shows near-perfect balance, while this tastes of plum berry fruits and earthy spice. Smooth, elegant and chocolaty on the finish, this delivers all one can ask for from Rioja. Drink through 2035.

Editors' Choice

V 94
Vinous
Vivid ruby-red. Highly perfumed aromas of red fruit liqueur, candied flowers, vanilla and incense; spicecake, vanilla and smoky mineral flourishes emerge with air. Palate-staining raspberry, cherry-vanilla and rose pastille flavors display excellent depth and energy, and a spine of juicy acidity provides added lift and back-end cut. Melds richness and vivacity with a sure hand and finishes with lingering sweetness, fine-grained tannins and a touch of smokiness.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I'm always looking forward to tasting CVNE's Gran Reserva bottlings, especially the 2011 Imperial Gran Reserva, as the year was highly praised, and I was very curious to see how it behaved. It's a classical blend of Tempranillo with 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo that matured in barrel for two years. It has good depth and complexity in the nose, nicely layered, very balsamic and tertiary. It feels elegant and harmonious. The palate is surprisingly fresh and vibrant, with finesse, freshness, fine and mostly resolved tannins and a fine thread of acidity that holds and lifts up the finish.
Rating: 93+
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
Imperial focuses on CVNE’s bush vines in the Rioja Alta town of Villalba, including fruit from some mature parcels nearby in Briones and Montalvo. A blend of tempranillo (85 percent), graciano and mazuelo, it ferments in French oak vats, then ages three years in French and American oak barrels, followed by long aging in bottle before release. In fact, it needs more bottle age, as the wine is reduced, with a rubber scent when first poured. That reduction doesn’t get in the way of the tense, purple-black fruit or the mineral power of the tannins. And by the next day, the reduction is gone, leaving a luxurious red wine in its wake, deep and silken, smoky and refined, while still tough in its structure. Built for long development in bottle, the top vintages of Imperial live for decades.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
This red has density and balance. Harmonious flavors of black cherry, plum, licorice, underbrush and tea mingle over well-integrated tannins, giving way to a fresh, spicy finish. Not showy, but has energy. Drink now through 2025. 1,000 cases imported
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CVNE
CVNE, Spain
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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.

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Rioja

Tempranillo

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Hailed as the star red variety in Spain’s most celebrated wine region, Tempranillo from Rioja, or simply labeled, “Rioja,” produces elegant wines with complex notes of red and black fruit, crushed rock, leather, toast and tobacco, whose best examples are fully capable of decades of improvement in the cellar.

Rioja wines are typically a blend of fruit from its three sub-regions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental, although specific sub-region (zonas), village (municipios) and vineyard (viñedo singular) wines can now be labeled. Rioja Alta and Alavesa, at the highest elevations, are considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier, Rioja Oriental, produce wines with deep color, great body and richness.

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STC245222_2011 Item# 506180