Rioja Imperial Reserva 2015

Another red wine from the Lavinia Tasting Class with Anna Harris Noble. A Riojan Reserva this time which means it must be matured in oak for at least 1 year and then a further 2 years in the bottle.

One of the first Riojan reds I got into was from the C.V.N.E stable: their Cune range which is aimed at the mass market. Where I worked used to include miniature bottles of the red cune joven with the menu del día. I’d smuggle them home in my bag and enjoy them with dinner instead. I like the Cune Rioja. It’s a fun fruity unpretentious red wine. So I was quite looking forward to trying one of their higher range wines.

This is a Tempranillo Riojan staple with some Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo blended in. The grapes come from 40 year old vines and the wine has spent 2 years in French/American oak mix barrels and then 2 years in the bottle.

It has a clear, medium intensity, ruby red colour and a very promising nose of red berries and black currant with overtones of leather. There was a bit of toasted coconut in there and the creamy/oaky scents also came through.

It’s a dry wine with low acidity, medium body, a good finish and medium to high tannins.

This is where the tasting starts to go downhill. As my regular readers will know my tongue is defective in bitter taste buds. All I get is a mouth full of sour and I’m unable to distinguish beyond that. I just can’t do bitter.

So any red wine that is high in tannins is usually beyond the reach if my tastebuds. It’s such a shame as these are usually the better reds. That was the case with this wine. I was able to tell that this was an earthy oaky wine and then the sour took over and it was game over.

Do not let my crappy taste buds put you off. The rest of the group really enjoyed this wine and they got the leather, oak and fruit mix that was denied me. It clearly is a very good wine and if you prefer your reds on the meatier side then give this one a try.

Photo by honestwinedrinker
Photo by honestwinedrinker
Name: Imperial Reserva
Colour: Red
Year: 2015
Grapes 85% Tempranillo olys 15% Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo
Winery: Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España
Country: Spain
Region: Rioja
Quality Classification: Denominacion de Origen de Calidad
Alcohol: 14%
Price: 24,90€

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