Sunday, September 20, 2009

2001 CVNE Viña Real Reseva Rioja Spain

2001 CVNE Viña Real Reseva Rioja Spain

C.V.N.E (Compaña Vinicola del Norte de España) aslo known as "Cune" is producing many wines from diverse locations and Bodegas.

Created in 1879, CUNE is the original Bodegas. It used to be a cooperative handling the grapes of many growers in the cellars located in "Barrio de la Estación de Haro", in the village of Haro (Rioja Alta). CVNE is now divided in three Bodegas making many diverse wines.

Bodegas CUNE produces the following labels: Cune, Monopole, Imperial, Corona and Real de Asúa.

Bodegas Contino (one of my favorite Bodegas in Rioja), considered and vinified like a 1st growth from a single plot vineyards surrounding the beautiful estate (read my previous post on Contino), produces: Contino, Viña del Olivo and Graciano.

In 1920 the first Viña Real wines were launched. These wines were produced from grapes grown around Elciego, in the heart of the RiojaAlavesaprovince. These vineyards, to this day are still controlled by ViñaReal and continue to border the ‘Camino Real’ or ‘Royal Drive’; hence the origin of the ViñaReal name. The ViñaReal wines are modern in structure, balance and elegance, with a potential for very long aging in bottle, this last being the main characteristic of the Rioja Alavesa province.

Viña Real, which was completely and beautifully refurbished recently, is a bodegas located on Cerro de la Meso hill, not so far from Contino (Rioja Alavesa). If you've ever been to Château Lafite Rothschild in Pauillac (Bordeaux, France), you will realize that the brand new cellar of Viña Real has been conceived with the same kind of architecture, its grandiose! Vina Real produces great wines, more classic and traditional in a way than Imperial (more Bordeaux style) and Contino (more opulent, riper and oakier yet refined). The usuals: bianco, crianza, reserva, gran reserva and their grand cuvée: Pagos de Vina real.

For more info about the winery and its wines go to their website at:

2001 CVNE Viña Real Reseva Rioja Spain
Suggested retail price $28-$31
Imported / Distributed by Lauber thru Southern Wine & Spirits in NYC (and Monarchia-Matt for certain wines)

This wine was elaborated with hand harvested grapes coming from vineyards surrounding the winery, in Rioja Alavesa. After the cold pre-fermentation maceration, the fermentation alcoholic happened in temperature controlled stainless still tanks to maintain the true varietal character of the different grapes. Part of the malolactic fermentation occurred in barrel. Viña Real Reserva 2001 was aged for 22 months in 50% French and 50% American oak barrels, period during which the wine acquired all its structure, finesse and character. At the end of the aging period, after a light filtration with egg whites, the wine is bottled and stored for 2 more years in bottle before release.

A blend of 90% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha and 5% Graciano & Mazuelo, from the excellent and definitely age worthy 2001 vintage, the Viña Real Reserva is a fantastic wine. In the glass, it exposes an attractive ruby red color, medium to good intensity, with light touches of brown on the rime. Clean, quite intense and expressive on the nose, with ripe red cherry, autumn fruits, spices and elegant toasty oak. The palate is the real delight, rich and generous yet balanced and juicy, velvety, with lifting acidity and integrated tannins. The toasted, vanilla oak notes complement beautifully the red cherry and raspberry fruit characteristic of the Tempranillo grape, producing a fine, rich, complex palate with a lingering finish. The wine is really well balanced and attractive now, yet it still has good potential to improve even further more. Have it with grilled Chuletas de Cordero (lamb chops).


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