CVNE (Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana), pronounced coonay, Imperial, DOCa Gran Reserva Rioja, Spain, 2007
Imperial is produced only in exceptional vintages, from their eldest vines, mostly of handpicked tempranillo, with minor graciano and mazuelo (aka carignan). Aged for 2 years in French and US oak casks, then at least 3 years in bottle before release; natural cork closure, 13.5% abv, widely available, about £35
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, of deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas of spicy ripe red and black plum, macerated red cherry, black cherry, a rich floral hint, a low-key leafy note, vanilla, and with just a hint of liquorice.
Palate: a dry wine, medium (+) acidity, medium (+) grippy tannins, medium (+) alcohol and a medium (+) body, of medium (+) intensity, with flavours of sweet red and black plum, red cherry, and black berry boiled sweets, with rich savoury hints. A long length with a clean rich and ripe cherry finish.
Quality: A very good quality wine, the sum of tannins with acidity is a little out of balance with alcohol and the intensity of flavour, but the tannins will round with more time in bottle. Good fruit intensity, quite concentrated cherry dominated flavours, following through to the long length, with interesting complexity, and showing early signs of tertiary development with liquorice and savoury notes.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: ready to drink now, this wine has all the signs – concentration, complexity and to be resolved tannins, to suggest development and improvement in cellar over 5-10 years.