James Suckling 94
A tight and beautiful wine with blackberries, bramble berries, rose petals and lemon grass. Medium to full body, ultra-fine tannins and a beautiful finish. Very fine-grained. Lovely now. Even better in 2020.
(raised in new and used French and American oak barrels for two years) Vivid ruby-red. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe raspberry, cherry-cola, potpourri and exotic spices, with a suave vanilla topnote and a smoky mineral flourish. Sweet and broad in the mouth, offering lush red fruit, spicecake, mocha and coconut flavors that steadily tighten up on the back half. Finishes extremely long and spicy, with a resonating floral quality, well-knit tannins and lingering oak spice notes. This one is still quite young.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2035
Tim Atkin 97
“This comes from vineyards in Villalba, Briones and Torremontalbo and is another brilliant release from María Larrea. Savoury, sweet and well balanced, with 15% Graciano adding extra backbone and the zest that you expect from this special red.
Robert Parker 95
The wine that represents the traditional and serious reds from Haro, the 2012 Imperial Gran Reserva is a classical blend of Tempranillo with 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo that matured in barrel for two years. It has a textbook serious Haro nose, with dark spices, ripe fruit, something balsamic and a round, full-bodied palate within the straight and serious style of the wine. 2012 was a warm year, but the wines are fresher than those from 2011. This has fine, slightly grainy tannins with good grip. A textbook Imperial Gran Reserva. 50,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2015.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2032
Jeb Dunnuck 95
The current release, the 2012 Imperial Gran Reserva checks in as a blend of 85% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano. Classic Rioja notes of blackcurrants, tobacco, toasted spices, balsamic, and lead pencil give way to a full-bodied, beautifully textured 2012 with ripe, supple tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It’s beautifully done and just a joy to drink, although I have no doubt that it has another 15 years of longevity. It’s not a powerhouse, but I love its elegance and finesse-driven style.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2035