Today we are thrilled to offer one of the benchmark wines to hail from Spain’s beloved Rioja region, the 2015 vintage release of CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva. The CVNE Imperial is only produced in the best vintages and the 2015 has been decreed as Rioja’s finest since the superb 2010. Josh Raynolds of Vinous has said of this historic estate“Today I would count CVNE among the region’s top producers, up and down the range”  awarding the 2015 Imperial Gran Reserva with his best score to date of 95 points, describing it as, “Deep, brilliant ruby. Offers sharply defined, mineral-inflected red and dark berries, cherry liqueur, pipe tobacco, vanilla and exotic spice scents” while James Suckling is equally ebullient in his praise, awarding it a knockout 97 point score, “This is very ripe with blackberries, dried fruit, toasted oak and black licorice on the nose. Full-bodied with ultra-fine, linear tannins and a racy, refined finish. This has fantastic structure and length. It goes on for minutes. It needs time to open and refine even more. One of the best Imperiale Gran Reservas in a very long time.”
 
Today the 2015 Imperial Gran Reserva has released at the price of £215 per case of 6 IB, providing incredible value for a truly world class wine which is silky and polished enough to be enjoyed in its youthful stage now, but can also be cellared for decades for a seemingly endless window of drinking enjoyment. We are also able to offer this release in a range of stunning large formats, each of which will arrive in a wooden case, including magnums at £225 per case of 3 IB, as an individual double magnum or an individual imperial at £165 or £344 IB respectively or in a staggering 18-litre Melchior for the price of £1,340 IB.
 
Bodegas C.V.N.E, which stands for Compagna Vinicola del Norte de Espana is one of the most renowned bodegas in Rioja and throughout all of Spain, having remained in the hands of the Real de Asua family since its establishment in 1879. The winery is a marvel within itself, having been inspired by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, with metal trusses being used from wall to wall, rather than conventional columns to improve open space and helping the ageing and management of barrels. Imperial is an independent winery within CVNE with its own 28 hectare of vineyards in the Rioja Alta zone and was first produced in the 1920s and derives its name from the Imperial Pint measurement. The grapes for Imperial Gran Reserva are sourced from the best and the oldest vines around Villalba, Briones and Torremontalbo. After hand-harvesting and a thorough manual selection the grapes are fermented in French oak vats. The wine is then aged for 24 months in French and American oak barrels and spends another 36 months in bottle before it’s released.
 
The Imperial Gran Reserva is produced from vineyards around Villalba and Haro in Rioja Alta, which have a minimum vine age of 20 years, up to 80 years in many cases. The bush trained vines are protected by the Cantabrian Mountains, which create a microclimate within a microclimate. Only the healthiest grapes are selected from the fittest bushes; many long-retired bushes remain, yet not replanted due to the intricate and co-dependant root system. The singular thought is quality. Only hand harvesting would work here due to the terroir, then bunches are hand selected and cold macerated, prior to a cold temperature fermentation. Following a long maceration, the wines go through malolactic fermentation and then into barrels of American and French oak; before a lengthy period of bottle ageing.