CVNE Imperial Rioja Gran Reserva 2010
Rioja is Spain's fine wine capital, an area characterised by rich tradition and wines of immense pedigree. Last September we visited this revered region to seek out some stellar estates and found a gem from one of the most renowned vintages and historic bodegas in all Spain: CVNE’s Imperial Rioja Gran Reserva 2010.
2010 is Wine Advocate and Vinous’s highest rated Rioja vintage to date, surpassing 2001 and 2004. Vinous calls it ‘An outstanding vintage that produced wines that combine power and vivacity’.
We fell in love with this Gran Reserva’s beautiful silky elegance, its rich and intense palate of sweet dark berry fruits and fine smoky spice, its gorgeous velvety texture and its long generous finish. We enjoyed it so much our CEO, Tom Stopford Sackville, decided there and then to buy all they had, both bottles and large formats.
Confident we had backed a winner, we were delighted to find that Vinous’s expert on Rioja, Josh Raynolds, confirmed our thoughts, ‘In the context of world-class Spanish wines, which this one is, there's truly outstanding value here,’ giving it a firm 94 points. These thoughts and score were echoed by the Wine Advocate’s leading Spanish critic Luis Gutierrez, ‘We're in for a treat with the 2010 Imperial Gran Reserva, a classic among classics in a classic vintage… A very good vintage for this bottling.’ 94 points.
At £225 per six bottles in bond this offers remarkable value for the quality. This stately Gran Reserva was aged for three years in French and American oak, then given a further four years cellar time before release. This hugely impressive effort lives up to the stellar reputation of the 2010 vintage and is a wine we are immensely proud to recommend. It can be drunk now or cellared for future enjoyment. One thing is for sure, this is a wine not to be missed.
The 2010 is seriously impressive. It’s a wine which comprises power, depth and concentrated fruit, all finely wrapped up with a sensational texture. Displaying aromas of dark and red forest fruits, allspice, and a sweet smoky earthy character, the palate delivers a framework of refined integrated oak and ripe tannins, along with a mouth filling richness of flavour; damson, crushed blackberries, dark morello cherries all layered and entwined with some sweet spices and mouth-watering balsamic acidity. Layered and complex, this is an exquisite offering. Delicious!
We're in for a treat with the 2010 Imperial Gran Reserva, a classic among classics in a classic vintage. It's very spicy and still slightly oaky, with ripe fruit without any excess; it is a serious, somehow Bordeaux-like, less-perfumed red. The palate shows that seriousness, with some dusty tannins and a dry finish. The texture is a little earthy, very good for food. This could be drunk now, but I'd give it some time in the bottle. The oak feels very nicely integrated, less noticeable than in warmer vintages like 2009. A very good vintage for this bottling. The category that was close to disappearing ten years ago seems to be alive and kicking with 50,000 bottles produced in 2010.
Dried cherry, plum compote, black olive and cola flavors are supported by firm tannins and balsamic acidity in this plump red. Energetic yet harmonious, in the traditional style. Drink now through 2025.
High-toned, dense and punchy yet harmonious and finely rendered, in a distinctly classical style. Impressive. Drink 2020-2027