CVNE Imperial Reserva Rioja in half-bottles.
CVNE Imperial Reserva Rioja is one of the bigest and most highly regarded Rioja brands of Spain. It is a true classic in Rioja and was first produced in the 1920s. Its name comes after a special bottling for the English market, in a measure called ‘Pinta Imperial’ or ‘Imperial Pint’ (an Imperial pint, half a litre approximately). From 1928 these wines could be found at the top restaurants and shops all over Spain. It has always been characterised for its very high and constant quality, in every vintage. CVNE (also known as the Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana or CUNE) was founded in 1879 in the town of Haro in Rioja by two brothers and today is still controlled by the direct descendants of the founding family. The company now consists of 4 wineries, CVNE, Imperial, Vina Real and Contino.
The Imperial range includes a ‘Reserva’ and a ‘Gran Reserva’ and is only produced in exceptional vintages. For the CVNE Imperial Reserva a selection of the best grapes from CVNE’s Rioja Alta vineyards around the village of Villalba were hand harvested. The fermentation took place in a combination of oak vats and stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures. The wine is then aged in both American and French new oak casks for two years before being bottled followed by another two years in bottle prior to its release to the market. Tempranillo 85%, Graciano 10% and Mazuelo 5%.