Mission Codename King of Haro
“Cune has refused to go to extremes, instead taking a measured approach to the struggle between tradition and innovation.” raved Wine Spectator when crowning them with the “#1 Wine of the Year” award in 2013 for their “ability to balance past and future in such delicious harmony.”
Like KFC is to fried chicken, or Ferrari is to Formula 1…so is CVNE to Rioja.
Whether you call ‘em CUNE or CVNE, this is the Viña Real deal! A 92/93/94 point gem at a silly low price.
And finally…we landed one
Yep, the one and only Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España is here. Whatever it took, we were DETERMINED to get the ORIGINAL single-vineyard Rioja in front of you.
HOT TIP: Scoop up what you can as this WILL sell out, then come back and geek out on “10 Things every wine lover should know about CVNE” here.
OFF THE METER QPR!! Wwhere else in the world would you find an ultra-traditional haunting beauty with massive scores for way under $30?! A classic like no other in every true sense of the word. Vinous explains “Over the past decade the quality of these traditionally made wines has been on a steady rise. Today I would count CVNE among the region’s top producers, up and down the range.”
Die hard Rioja fans know these wines need time to evolve into their best version. And this reserva is just entering a SWEET SPOT for drinkability now,. OH SO IRRESISTABLE. Yet lest you put these away and forget about them accidentally fear not, since the winemaking is as traditional as it gets, they tend to age gracefully for many years. A Viña Real retrospective back to the ‘30s was held at the winery in 2015 for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and the “highlights of the tasting were 1959, 1947 and 1938.” Gulp.
So, what we have in our glasses possesses this gorgeous alluring cherry red core fading to a vivid cerise in the lucid rim. The nose straddles between wild berries red and black, with the ambiance of an exotic spice bazaar providing the backdrop. Once sipped, it’s elegant like liquid silk, with the texture of a great Burgundy, building up slowly through ultra-fine tannins and a touch of coconut husk and freshly ground nutmeg. The finish is impressively fine and serious for its humble price, yet the juicy acidity and fresh fruits make it intimately quaffable. In Rioja, you must chug this down over roast lamb, but stateside it’d also be an ideal companion for anything grilled too, like gourmet burgers with bacon.
Let’s now see what runs out first, the bottle we’ve been passing around, or the small stash we were able to secure for the day.
94 Points – James Suckling
“Extremely linear and structured with a dense center palate of dark fruits and hints of stone. Full to medium body, powerful and polished tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Tightly wound ball here. Exciting. Drink in 2020.”
93 Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The classical 2015 Viña Real Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo with 10% Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano from a warm and early harvest that fermented in stainless steel vats and aged in new oak barriques for 22 months with rackings every four months. I find it very expressive, aromatic and open, ripe and hedonistic but without excess. It has the soft and approachable profile of the Alavesa wines but with the grip of the fine-grained, chalky tannins. It’s gentle but has clout. Delicious! Drink 2019-2023.”
92 Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“One of Rioja’s most well-known, oldest and largest bodegas, CVNE was founded in 1879 in Haro. Today the property owns over 500 hectares of vines. Over the past decade the quality of these traditionally made wines has been on a steady rise. Today I would count CVNE among the region’s top producers, up and down the range. The entry-level Cune bottlings deliver excellent value in quantity. The top-end Imperial bottlings are made from a 28-hectare vineyard in Rioja Alta. These wines have established an enviable track record for long aging. Bottles of the legendary 1968 Gran Reserva are still going strong, with what seems to be years of life ahead. Both American and French oak barrels are used here, with an emphasis on American. The 2015 Viña Real Reserva Rioja is youthful violet color. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe, spice-accented red and dark berries, cherry preserves, vanilla and cigar box. A suave floral nuance emerges slowly. Chewy and sharply focused on the palate, offering concentrated blackberry, bitter cherry and mocha flavors that are given spine by a core of juicy acidity. Rich yet energetic in style, displaying impressive finishing power, mounting tannins and a lingering spicecake note. Drink 2022-2032.”
Wild berries red and black, with an exotic spice bazaar
Gorgeous alluring cherry red core fading to a vivid cerise in the lucid rim
Wild berries red and black, with the ambiance of an exotic spice bazaar providing the backdrop
Elegant like liquid silk, ultra-fine tannins and a touch of coconut husk and freshly ground nutmeg
Impressively fine and serious for its humble price, juicy acidity, fresh fruits, all intimately quaffable
Roast lamb, also an ideal companion for anything grilled too, like gourmet burgers with bacon
What the Winery Says
2015 'Viña Real' Reserva Rioja
- Maria Larrea
- 90% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano
- Rioja DOCa, Spain
- Elciego, Rioja Alavesa
- First vintage
- Harvest dates
- September 15 - October 6, 2015
- Total acidity
- 5.6 g/L
- 22 months in barrel, 18 months in bottle
- 70% French & 30% American oak