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CVNE Imperial Reserva Rioja 2011

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • JS96
  • V92
  • RP91
  • WS90
14% ABV
  • RP92
  • WE93
  • JS93
  • RP92
  • WS90
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • RP92
  • D94
  • WE93
  • W&S93
  • RP92
  • RP93
  • W&S93
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4.5 18 Ratings
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4.5 18 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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

Critical Acclaim

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JS 96
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.
V 92
Vinous
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.
RP 91
Robert Parker's 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.
WS 90
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
CVNE, Rioja, 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.

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.

MTIIMP_IRS_11_2011 Item# 167751