So much is said out there about this winery and this wine. However, this 2015 vintage is just now ready to drink 3 years after being released, in 2018.
Fun fact: CVNE Imperial wine was created in 1920s. It owes its name to a British measure of about half a liter. This bottle, today, is no longer that size. Its the standard 75cl, but has kept the clever name since then.
Robert Parker, 93 pts
"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."
Wine Spectator, 93 pts
"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. Drink now through 2030"
Wine Enthusiast, 91 pts
"Savory oak and spicy foresty berry aromas are a touch gritty. A grabby palate with controlled astringency tastes of salty, lightly stalky plum and raspberry, along with vanilla. Earthy berry and oak flavors dominate a finish with a tannic rub. Drink through 2035."
Tim Atkin, 95 pts
"A tight and linear red now with a 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."
Decanter, 90 pts
"Made only in the best vintages from CVNE's oldest vineyards, Imperial is always a reliable, go-to Rioja. There's a lovely balance here between primary fruit and slightly evolved characters. Fermented in French oak vats, the wine is then aged in French and American oak for a year followed by further aging in the bottle. A classic, expressive Rioja full of strawberries and cream flavors."
The history of the company begins in the winery located in Haro in the neighborhood of the railway station “barrio de la estacion “ which dates back to 1879. Close to the railway tracks which during a time drove into the cellar to easily transport easily the wine in oak barrels and then in bottles.
The 545 hectares of vineyards that CVNE owns account for 50% of the company's production, and are distributed between the two subregions of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa, an area of calcareous clay soils, ferrous clay and alluvial soils, under the influence of the Atlantic and Mediterranean climates.
The winery is composed of 22 buildings, which include the original 1879 premises, as well as the plant designed and built by the Eiffel architectural studio in 1909.
This winery combines tradition, quality, and innovation. In 1940 it was a pioneer with the construction of the first concrete fermentation cellar in Spain. In the 80´s it was the pioneer with the first vinification non-aggressive plant, through the use of gr