2001 Imperial, Gran Reserva, C.V.N.E., Rioja, Spain
Neal Martin - 31/08/2012
About this WINE
Bodegas C.V.N.E. is still owned and run by the Real de Asua family whose ancestors established it back in 1879. Its full name is Compañía Vinicola del Norte de España but it more commonly known as "coonay".
In the late 1980s the firm built a spanking new stainless steel winery in the town of Haro and is now producing thoroughly "modern" style Rioja wines. Both red and whites are produced and their white Rioja is one of the few remaining heavily-oaked examples on the market today.
The 2 different ranges of C.V.N.E, the Vina Real and Imperial, are rich, full-bodied Riojas, with the Reservas and Grand Reservas being some of the most long-lived in the region today.
Best of BBX: Rioja
A high quality red wine grape that is grown all over Spain except in the hot South - it is known as Tinto Fino in Ribera del Duero, Cencibel in La Mancha and Valdepenas and Ull de Llebre in Catalonia. Its spiritual home is in Rioja and Navarra where it constitutes around 70% of most red blends.
Tempranillo-based wines tend to have a spicy, herbal, tobacco-like character accompanied by ripe strawberry and red cherry fruits. It produces fresh, vibrantly fruit driven "jovenes" meant for drinking young. However Tempranillo really comes into its own when oak aged, as with the top Riojas where its flavours seem to harmonise perfectly with both French and American oak, producing rich, powerful and concentrated wines which can be extraordinarily long-lived.
In Ribera del Duero it generally sees less oak - the exception being Vega Sicilia where it is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and then aged for an astonishing 7 years in oak and is unquestionably one of the world`s greatest wines.
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Made from 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo, and aged extensively in both French and American oak, the 2001 Imperial is all that one would expect from this great House in this great vintage. Disarmingly approachable, or so it seems, the wine’s full complexity becomes evident on the palate as it is savoured. Drink 2010-2016.
Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer
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