2011 C.V.N.E Rioja "Imperial" Rioja Reserva


C.V.N.E. stands for Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España, a holding company for four different wineries in Rioja established in 1879. It is, curiously, known as “Cune,” pronounced “COO-nay.” Imperial is both the name of the wine and one of the four wineries. It’s a true classic in Rioja that was first released in the 1920s. Its name was originally created after a special bottling for the English market in a bottle called ‘Pinta Imperial’ or ‘Imperial Pint’ (an Imperial pint, which is about 500ml).

This is a fine example of traditional Rioja, and extremely well made, given how fresh and lively this wine is at age 7. James Suckling rated this Reserva 96 points and loved its “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.”

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