CVNE Cune Imperial Gran Reserva DOCa 2016 (Rioja, Spain) - [JS 98] [WE 96] [WA 95] [DM 95] [WS 93]

CVNE Cune Imperial Gran Reserva DOCa 2016
(Rioja, Spain) - [JS 98] [WE 96] [WA 95] [DM 95] [WS 93]

Regular price $94.97

JS98 WE96 WA95 DM95 WS93
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About the Wine

Our finest Rioja Alta vineyards are destined for the production of Imperial Gran Reserva, the plots from which the grapes are harvested are located between 550 and 650 m of altitude with a climate of Atlantic and continental influence. The vines are bush trained, dry farmed and the plots are small. The soils are clay with areas of river pebbles, are low in organic matter and are situated on gentle south facing slopes.

Imperial Gran Reserva is an iconic Rioja and Spanish wine. It is only made when harvests are exceptional. This wine is designed to last and improve over time.

The harvest is made manually of selected vineyards, with a double selection of grapes both in the vineyard as in the winery. Cold refrigeration of whole bunches in order to improve fruit extraction and color stability. The crushed grapes were transported by gravity to small oak vats for maceration with cold temperature for a few hours. Followed by fermentation with indigenous yeasts at controlled temperature between 28 and 29ºC. Punching and delestage are carried out daily during fermentation, as well as tastings to determine the perfect moment for draining the vat. After completing the malolactic fermentation in concrete vats, the wine is aged for two years in French and American oak barrels, new and from one wine, with rackings every 8 months, followed by aging in bottle in our century-old cellars until the wine is released to the market.

The 2016 manual harvest for Imperial started on the 10th of October and ended on
the 25th of October. 2016 was a year of excellent quality at CVNE, characterized by lack of rainfall between May and October. The year began with a dry, mild winter and rain at the beginning of spring. August brought temperatures above average, and with no rain, delaying the ripening process. The vegetative cycle lasted for 161 days. Fortunately, rain in September gave some respite to the vines and enabled full ripening of the grapes. Although the harvest was eventually later than usual, it was of great quality and with the vines in excellent health conditions.

Tasting Notes
Intense cherry red layer. On the nose it is interesting for its complexity, highlighting the liquorice, the fruits of the forest and the aromas of cloves, roasted coffee, cigar leaf, chocolate, caramel and certain balsamic notes, which naturally come from the stay in the barrel. The palate is marked by a velvety tannin that gives it the elegance of this wine as well as having a very attractive aftertaste. In the glass it will evolve, expanding its aromatic variety. It can be paired alone or accompanied by red meats, game, fatty fish, cured cheeses...Recommended serving temperature 18ºC.
Varietals: 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, 5% Mazuelo
Aging: 24 months in French and American oak barrels
ABV: 14.5%

Ratings & Reviews

98 Points - James Suckling:
"Polished and structured with firm, very fine tannins. Lots going on here, with layers of black fruit, dried spices, graphite, coconut and cracked pepper. Full-bodied and so intense. Keeps going. Long. The tannins are so fine and so numerous. One of the greatest modern gran reservas. 85% tempranillo, 10% graciano and 5% mazuelo. Try in 2025." (December 2022)

96 Points - Wine Enthusiast:
"Deep red-violet in the glass, this wine has a bouquet of cherry, black currant and juniper. Durable tannins coat the palate, bearing flavors of cassis, dark plums, dark chocolate and violet that lead into the spice-filled finish." - Mike DeSimone (March 2023)

95 Points - Wine Advocate:
"The classical 2016 Imperial Gran Reserva was produced with a blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from grapes that were picked between October 10 and 25 with good ripeness, delivering a wine with 14.5% alcohol after fermenting in small oak vats followed by malolactic in concrete and two years in barrel and three in bottle. I was quite surprised, because the wine was quite closed and needed energetic swirling and time in the glass to reveal its true colors. It has more stuffing and finesse than the reserva. 2016 was a very good vintage, with freshness and balance to develop nicely in bottle. The tannins are very fine, and the wine is tasty and long." Drink 2022-2035. - Luis Gutiérrez (July 2022)

95 Points - Decanter
"CVNE makes a number of Gran Reservas but this stands head and shoulders above the rest. As one of the great Gran Reservas, Rioja lovers are on first-name terms with it; they rarely use 'gran reserva' to describe it – 'Imperial' will do. As a wine it has had its ups and downs, but today it is back on track. The style reflects our different world and consumer demands, with more generous fruit layered with the ever-elegant oak, and particularly in this fine vintage. Fermented in small oak vats, aged in french and American oak for two years, before bottle age." Drink 2023-2040. - Sarah Jane Evans (December 2022)

93 Points - Wine Spectator:
"This dense, concentrated red maintains a sense of grace and style throughout, with sculpted tannins married to a generous, finely knit range of black currant and plum fruit, showing hints of cedar, Earl Grey tea leaf, smoke and spice that echo on the finish. Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo. Drink now through 2036." - Alison Napjus (September 2022)