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CVNE Gran Reserva Riojas

New allocations & latest release from CVNE: 2016 Imperial & 2015 Corona Blanco Gran Reservas


We first offered you CVNE's 2016 Imperial Gran Reserva last autumn and we are very pleased to have secured a limited further allocation, particularly of the large formats.  Alongside the Imperial, we offer a new release from CVNE, the 2015 Corona Blanco Gran Reserva. 

 2015 CVNE Corona Rioja Gran Reserva Blanco

Corona is a revival of a wine with a long history:  First made at the end of the nineteenth century, it is a semi-sweet white wine with a touch of botrytis influence.  Some forgotten barrels of the 1939 vintage were discovered at the winery in the 70s.  The Wine Advocate's Luis Gutiérrez tasted the '39 in 2015 and awarded it 100 points, distinguishing it as the first Spanish white wine to receive a perfect score. 

Inspired by this to revive Corona, CVNE selected Viura grapes from the 2 ha 'Salceda' vineyards, a plot often affected by botrytis due to evening mists.  After fermentation, the wine has around 33g/l of residual sugar (a similar level, for instance, to a 'Moelleux' Vouvray). 

Seven years after the vintage Gutiérrez describes the 2015 Corona as having a mellow quality, with notes of mushroom, spice and perfumed peach fruit.  Like the '39, this will age for many decades and, even on release, it scores 95 points.  Just 1500 bottles were made, so rarity alone may give this long-term investment potential.

2016 CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva

"One of the greatest modern gran reservas...98 points."  - James Suckling

CVNE's Imperial Gran Reserva is the epitome of the powerful, full-bodied style for which Rioja is famous.  Only produced in outstanding years, the 2016 release of Imperial is an excellent vintage and scores 98 points from James Suckling.  At just £240 per six bottles in bond, this release offers great value.

CVNE was established in the famous 'Barrio de la Estación' (Station District) of Haro in Rioja Alta in 1879, just a few hundred metres from the bodega of La Rioja Alta.  Short for Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España, the labels for the inaugural vintage were mis-spelt 'CUNE' and the bodega's name has been pronounced 'Coo-nay' ever since.  

Imperial itself was first produced in the 1920s (originally bottled in 'Imperial pint' sized bottles, hence the name) and is made from the CVNE's best plots in the Rioja Alta, at 550-650m altitude.  The blend for the 2016 is 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo, from 40 year-old, low-yielding bush-trained vines on clay soils. 

2016 was a late harvest, following a dry summer, giving very high levels of phenolic (flavour) ripeness.  With a full 24 months in French and American oak barrels and 36 months in bottle, the power is balanced by precise, defined fruit and mineral notes. 

After six years of maturation, the Gran Reserva is developing in a lovely, classical direction, with the vanilla-scented American oak aromas integrating beautifully with the fruit.  Despite obvious power, there's all the balance of refinement we have seen elsewhere in this vintage.  This is certainly one of our favourite releases of this wine.  

Please simply e-mail us if you would like to order either wine.

Offered pre-landing, expected March 2023.


RED 2005 2 cases CVNE - Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 75cl £360 per case of 6 CVNE
Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja
2005 / 2 cases / 75cl
£360 per case of 6
RED 2005 1 case CVNE - Viña Real Reserva Rioja 75cl £160 per case of 6 CVNE
Viña Real Reserva Rioja
2005 / 1 case / 75cl
£160 per case of 6
WHITE 2015 5 cases CVNE - Corona Gran Reserva Rioja Blanco 75cl £725 per case of 6 CVNE
Corona Gran Reserva Rioja Blanco
2015 / 5 cases / 75cl
£725 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"The 2015 Corona Gran Reserva is a "new" semi-sweet white that they revived from the wines produced from yesteryear. They harvested the grapes quite late looking for noble rot in early December (but they only got a very small percentage), and it matured in well-seasoned oak containers of different sizes for almost seven years. The wine has 13.9% alcohol and 33 grams of sugar, so faintly weak, trying to go back to the wines like the mythical 1939. It's perfumed, peachy and spicy but not overtly oaky, with hints of mushrooms and yeasts. The palate is quite mellow, tasty, just subtly sweet, quite easy to drink. This has something in common with the Monopole Clásico Gran Reserva, with that smokiness and reminiscences of their ancient caves. This should age effortlessly for many years, developing more complexity and nuance. It has very good freshness and still feels very young. It was bottled in March 2022. This will not be produced every year. 95 points." Antonio Gutierrez, Wine Advocate Jul '22
RED 2015 1 case CVNE - Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja Magnum £225 per case of 3 CVNE
Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja
2015 / 1 case / Magnum
£225 per case of 3
RED 2015 5 cases CVNE - Viña Real Gran Reserva Rioja 75cl £220 per case of 12 CVNE
Viña Real Gran Reserva Rioja
2015 / 5 cases / 75cl
£220 per case of 12
Tasting Notes“Glass-staining ruby. A highly complex bouquet features ripe red berry, cherry liqueur, cured tobacco and mocha scents, and a smoky mineral nuance and a hint of white pepper add urgency. Sweet, mineral-driven blackberry, cherry-vanilla, chewing tobacco and candied rose flavors show impressive depth as well as energy. Blends power and finesse with a steady hand and finishes chewy, sweet and impressively long, with youthfully gripping tannins adding framework. 94 points." Josh Raynolds, Vinous, Apr ‘21------“Fantastic aromas of cappuccino and orange with dark berries. Full-bodied with ultra-fine tannins that are layered and wonderfully polished. The wine has wonderful depth and complexity, as well as super structure. Great Viña Real. Drinkable now, but better in two or three years. Will age beautifully. 96 points." James Suckling, Sep ‘21
RED 2016 3 bottles CVNE - Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja Double Magnums £200 per bottle CVNE
Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja
2016 / 3 bottles / Double Magnums
£200 per bottle
RED 2016 10 cases CVNE - Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 75cl £240 per case of 6 CVNE
Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja
2016 / 10 cases / 75cl
£240 per case of 6
Tasting Notes“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. 50,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in July 2019. 95 points”. Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate, Jul '22------"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. 98 points." James Suckling, May '22
RED 2016 5 cases CVNE - Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja Magnum £250 per case of 3 CVNE
Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja
2016 / 5 cases / Magnum
£250 per case of 3
RED 2016 3 bottles CVNE - Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja Imperial £420 per bottle CVNE
Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja
2016 / 3 bottles / Imperial
£420 per bottle

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