2015 Cune "Imperial" Reserva Rioja

SKU #1431728 95 points James Suckling

 A tight and linear red now with very long and direct palate that is driven and intense. Medium to full body, bright blackberry and mineral character. Just a baby now. Give it three to four years to soften. A beauty. Try in 2021.  (1/2019)

94 points Vinous

 Saturated, brilliant ruby. Explosive, seductively perfumed aromas of dark berry preserves, cherry-cola, incense, floral oils and vanilla, along with suggestions of mocha, licorice and woodsmoke. Sweet and seamless in the mouth, offering intense blackberry, cherry preserve and violet pastille flavors and allspice, coconut and star anise flourishes. Distinctly rich yet energetic as well, finishing with resonating floral and spice character, well-integrated tannins and superb mineral-driven persistence. (JR)  (2/2019)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The analysis of the 2015 Imperial Reserva is almost identical to those of the Viña Real Reserva from the same vintage, but the profile is quite different. This is the more serious Haro-style red, and it has slightly darker fruit and a medium to full-bodied palate with very good grip, powerful but with great balance. The blend is also similar—85% Tempranillo and the rest split between Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha—but these are grapes from Rioja Alta fermented with yeasts selected from their own vineyards. The wine matured in French and American oak barrels for two years. The wines are different, but the quality level is similar. 150,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in June 2018. (LG)  (6/2019)

93 points Wine Spectator

 This balanced red shows muscle without losing grace. Black cherry, leafy, forest floor and toasty notes mingle over well-integrated tannins in a silky texture, with fresh acidity giving way to a floral, minerally finish. Not showy, but harmonious. Drink now through 2030. 12,500 cases made, 1,500 cases imported. (TM)  (9/2019)


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Price: $39.99

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By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/13/2019 | Send Email
Our Spanish buyer has been delivering on Rioja and the 2015 Cune "Imperial" is another exceptional entry to the list. A rich nose of vanilla, black cherry, toast and sweet spice. On the palate these are joined by black licorice, dark and grey stone with a light dust note framing the long finish. Bigger medium body and balanced acid, this is great Rioja anywhere near the price point.

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/13/2019 | Send Email
This is always a wine that you have to pay attention to--but it is really hard not to. The nose is great. It is everything that I want a Rioja to do. It is intense, complex, yet restrained. It gives you everything: dark fruit, spice, earth, oak, but it is integrated and settled, in that no one component jumps out in front of the other. It is just a pleasure to smell and to anticipate that first sip. The promise of the nose is delivered on the palate. This is a full-bodied red that is not heavy; it is lively without edges. These are deep and harmonious flavors that continue to roll on the palate during its long finish. I know I am biased, but this is a ridiculously good wine; and it's in contention for the best red in the shop at the price point.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Tempranillo

- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.
Country:

Spain

- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.
Sub-Region:

Rioja

Alcohol Content (%): 13.5