Imperial Gran Reserva 2011

The second top end offering from CVNE this time from the Imperial Bodega based in Rioja Alta. These grapes are grown nearer the mountains  and in a dryer year which producs higher acidity which preserves the wine better during maturation. As a Gran Reserva the best grapes are selected from the harvest to make a limited number of bottles. The grapes are fermented in large French oak barrels and then aged for 2 years in smaller barrels of new French and American oak, before a final 3 plus years aging in the bottle.

This wine had a nutty, oaky scent, far more so than the Contino Gran Reserva, followed by mature fresh berries but not as sweet as the Contino.

A dry red, full bodied with a lingering finish. The tannin and acidity levels seemed higher to me in this wine and this gave me the sour flavour I usually get with high tannins and acidity. After a while the the fruits started to come through, but I think I preferred the Contino.

Having said that others at the CVNE loved the Imperial Gran Reserva feeling that it had a much fuller but softer texture than the Contino.

On discussion with the helpful chap at the Bodega it was decided that I needed to leave the Imperial to mature for another couple of years to balance out the tannins/acidity sufficiently for my palate .

The reality is that both the Contino and Imperial Gran Reservas are great wines. Their texture and body fill your mouth and linger long after swallowing. Either are worth the price tag but my preference will always be for the fruitier of the two, which for me was the Contino.

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Name: Imperial Gran Reserva
Colour: Red
Year: 2011
Grapes 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, 5% Mazuelo
Winery: Campañia Vinicola de Norte de España
Country: Spain
Region: Rioja
Quality Classification: Denominación de Origen Calificada
Alcohol: 13,5%
Price: €47,90

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