- 2020 - 2032
- Case size
Wine Advocate, October 2020
The iconic Rioja Alavesa red 2014 Viña Real Gran Reserva was produced with grapes from their own vineyards in the villages of Laguardia and Labastida, mostly Tempranillo with 5% Graciano fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts and matured in new and second use barriques for 24 months. As with the Imperial Gran Reserva, I found great balance and elegance here, transcending the character of the year. It's a little shy and takes time to show aromas of fine spices, decayed leaves, wild berries and flowers. It's full and round, faithful to its style, juicy and rich even in more austere years. It's tasty and dry and has the balance to develop nicely in bottle. Another one for the table. 30,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in June 2017. Luis Gutiérrez.
Vinous, October 2020
Lurid ruby color. Highly perfumed cherry preserve, smoked meat, coconut and floral pastille scents, along with a succulent herb nuance that gains strength as the wine opens up. Juicy and seamless on the palate, offering juicy cherry-vanilla, candied rose, cola and mocha flavors that are energized by a late jolt of spiciness. Shows outstanding clarity and sweet, penetrating red fruit character on the gently tannic, impressively long, smoke-tinged finish, which leaves a suave floral note behind. -- Josh Raynolds
Historic Rioja house, which includes the estates of Vina Real, Contino, Imperial, and Cune. They pride themselves on incorporating Rioja's tradition and modern innovation. C.V.N.E. stands for Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana (The Northern Spanish Wine Company). It was established in 1879 and is still run by the same family today, now in its fifth generation.
By the far the best known of Spain's wine regions is Rioja, which takes its name from the rio(river) Oja, a tributary of the river Ebro. Lying in the north of the country, along the Ebro valley, the area is sheltered from rain-bearing Atlantic winds by the dramatic Sierra de Cantabria to the north and west. The hilly vineyards are interspersed with orchards, poplars and eucalyptus trees. Rioja is further divided into three sub-regions - Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. The first two are best regarded, with vines planted on cool slopes with clay and limestone soils. The permitted grape varieties for Rioja are tempranillo, which is grown extensively in Rioja Alta and Alavesa and will form the backbone of all the best wines, garnacha, widespread in Rioja Baja and used to add body to the blend, and mazuelo (carignan) and graciano, both grown in miniscule proportions. The key to understanding Rioja is the technique used to mature the wine. Unlike most other areas of Europe, American oak barrels are used which give the wines their characteristic soft vanilla, almost coconuty flavour. Historically the wines were aged for periods far longer than legally required, until all the fruit character had died down and the end result was a light, tawny-coloured wine dominated by oak flavours. Although there are still supporters of this classic style, far more producers are making wines in a more modern way, allowing the dark berry fruit flavours to burst through balanced by a more judicious use of oak ageing and often opting for French oak now.