Cune Rioja Gran Reserva 2010
My second wine of the week comes once again from the country of Spain. This time from the preeminent area of Rioja in Northeast Spain. I have always been impressed with the quality of the wines coming from Spain these last few years. They seem to be paying particular attention to the quality of their wines.
Rioja's main grape variety is Tempranillo. Most wines, however, tend to be blends with other grape varieties used such as Garnacha, Tinta, Graciano and Mazuelo. The Cune Gran Reserva uses about 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo.
Gran Reservas by law are aged for a minimum of 24 months in oak, in this case both American and French, and aged in the bottle for not less than 3 years to insure the wine is ready for consumption upon release.
I have been fortunate to taste their 2004 Imperial Gran Reserva, which was Wine Spectators #1 Wine in their Top 100 for 2013. I have also had their Crianza, having slightly less requirements for oak and bottle ageing, which was excellent in it's own right. It is also one of the most popular wines of the Spanish people as more than 4 million bottles are produced. A testament to the quality of the wines made by Cune.
While I could have reviewed the Crianza just as easily, and I do recommend it wholeheartedly, I wanted to step things up just a bit. Upon pouring the wine you get a slightly opaque yet dark red wine with a wonderful nose of red fruit. The wine itself is medium bodied with dried herbs and spice notes around a dark cherry flavor. A little more on the earthy side than fruit. The tannins are firm but not overt. The flavor does linger for a good bit of time.
This is a wine that can stand up to bigger meals. I had mine with, and don't laugh, meatloaf, along with some roasted veggies.
On a final note, and this actually threw me a while back when looking into this winery; the winery is actually named "Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana" or C.V.N.E. for short. This is easily confused with their Cune line of wines.
Most of their wines are readily available, although due to reviews and scores, some of them are a little harder to find. They are distributed through Tenzing Wine & Spirits if your local shop needs to order for you. The Crianza at around $15 is a steal and the Reserva nearer to $25 and the Gran Reserva around $30 are both wines of quality and deserve some attention. Try a couple and see what you think.