Rioja Gran Reserva, Imperial, CVNE
- Grape Variety: Tempranillo: 85%, Graciano: 10%, Mazuelo: 5%
- Vineyard sources: Hand-harvested at low yields from bush-pruned vines in the area around Villalba and Haro in Rioja Alta. Only the healthiest and ripest grapes are selected.
- Aging in cask 36moths and aging in bottle 48 moths before going to market.
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Press & Reviews
The 2009 Imperial Gran Reserva, the textbook blend of Tempranillo with 15% Graciano and Mazuelo, is fermented in oak vats with malo in barrels (part did it in cement) where it matured for two years and the bottles rested in their caves for no less than three years before being released. In this ripe and approachable vintage the wine is soft and round, showing the classical aromas inherited for the American oak along with very balsamic notes of incense, cigar ash, old furniture and good, ripe black fruit in the background. The palate shows more abundant tannins, slightly grainy in nature and an ending that is quite dry. I would wait on this one, but it should develop nicely in bottle. 50,000 bottles produced.
Plum and currant flavors mingle with notes of espresso, tobacco, dried herb and spice in this solid red. Firm tannins and orange peel acidity give this structure and balance. Lovely fruit and floral accents linger. Drink now through 2024. 1,000 cases imported.
Deep, bright ruby. Highly complex, expansive scents of ripe dark berries, cherry pie, mocha, pipe tobacco and vanilla, with a smoky overtone. Sweet, deep blackberry and floral pastille flavors are complicated by notes of spicecake and bitter chocolate, showing unlikely vivacity on the back half. This ripe and rich but elegant Rioja combines finishes supple, smoky and very long, with velvety tannins making a late appearance to add grip.