2015 Cune Rioja Imperial Reserva

Year: 2015
Appellation: Rioja
Country: Spain
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 93
Vinous Media: 94
James Suckling: 95
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
Price :
$36.95

"This balanced red shows muscle without losing grace. Black cherry, leafy, forest floor and toasty notes mingle over well-integrated tannins in a silky texture, with fresh acidity giving way to a floral, minerally finish. Not showy, but harmonious. Drink now through 2030. 12,500 cases made, 1,500 cases imported. -TM" (WS)

"The analysis of the 2015 Imperial Reserva is almost identical to those of the Viña Real Reserva from the same vintage, but the profile is quite different. This is the more serious Haro-style red, and it has slightly darker fruit and a medium to full-bodied palate with very good grip, powerful but with great balance. The blend is also similar-85% Tempranillo and the rest split between Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha-but these are grapes from Rioja Alta fermented with yeasts selected from their own vineyards. The wine matured in French and American oak barrels for two years. The wines are different, but the quality level is similar. 150,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in June 2018.

I've put the wines from Viña Real and CVNE together, as they have traditionally been brands of the same winery; and even though Viña Real now has a separate winery, ownership and the winemaking team are the same. They have been extending their vineyards to use a higher percentage of own grapes for their wines." (WA)

"Saturated, brilliant ruby. Explosive, seductively perfumed aromas of dark berry preserves, cherry-cola, incense, floral oils and vanilla, along with suggestions of mocha, licorice and woodsmoke. Sweet and seamless in the mouth, offering intense blackberry, cherry preserve and violet pastille flavors and allspice, coconut and star anise flourishes. Distinctly rich yet energetic as well, finishing with resonating floral and spice character, well-integrated tannins and superb mineral-driven persistence." (VM)

"A tight and linear red now with very long and direct palate that is driven and intense. Medium to full body, bright blackberry and mineral character. Just a baby now. Give it three to four years to soften. A beauty. Try in 2021." (JS)

Winery Notes:
Aging in cask 24 moths and aging in bottle 36 moths before going to market. Made from a selection of the best grapes from our Rioja Alta vineyards around the village of Villalba that were hand harvested in small 30 kg boxes. Before starting the alcoholic fermentation, the bunches of grapes were cooled down and kept at a low temperature for some hours in order to improve our control over fermentation without using any additives and to achieve an optimum extraction. The fermentation took place in a combination of oak vats and stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures. The wine was then aged in both American and French new and used oak casks for two years, followed by another two years in bottle prior to its release in the market.

Deep cherry colour with shades of shiny red. To the nose, aromas of berries and liquorice balanced by hints of clove, rosemary, thyme and tobacco leaves coming from the oak cask ageing. To the palate, it shows its elegance thanks to a gentle tanin 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.