2009 Cune Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja

SKU #1252105 94 points James Suckling

 This is very ripe with dried fruits and dried flowers. Exuberant aromas. Full body, round and silky, chewy tannins. Bright and exciting. Wonderful fruit. Shows tension and beauty. Needs time to soften and little. So gorgeous. Decant two hours in advance.  (7/2015)

94 points Vinous

 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. (JR)  (11/2015)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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. (LG)  (4/2015)

93 points Wine Spectator

 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. (TM)  (8/2015)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Blackberry, cassis, coffee and charred aromas make for a smoky, healthy, attractive bouquet. This is dense, deep, tannic and a bit rubbery and bouncy in feel. Tea, herb, chocolate and baked blackberry flavors end with cocoa and herbal, earthy notes. Drink this ripe gran reserva through 2023. (MS)  (8/2015)

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Price: $59.99

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- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.