Cune Rioja Reserva 2011: The basicsLet's get a few basic things straight. Cune Rioja Reserva 2011, officially Cune Imperial Rioja Reserva, is the latest Reserva release from Rioja wine produce CVNE. The name CVNE is an acronym for Companía Vitivinícola del Norte de Espana, which is a bit of a mouthful if you don't speak Spanish fluently. CVNE is more commonly known as Cune, pronounced "kooh-nay". The CVNE bodega was established in Haro by two brothers, and to this day remains a family affair. It is owned and managed by the descendants of its founders, Raimundo and Eusebio Real de Asúa. CVNE enjoys a strong reputation as one of the leading Rioja wine brands and produces Rioja wines at all ageing levels. Cune Rioja Reserva 2011 is a part of the esteemed CVNE portfolio and has pride of place as something of a flagship wine.
Cune Rioja Reserva 2011: The winemakingCune Rioja Reserva 2011 is a blend of three classic Rioja grape varieties; Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo (also known as Carignan or Cariñena). The grapes were harvested by hand from CVNE's vineyards in the Rioja Alta region. The 2011 vintage in Rioja was great, and that shows in the wine. Before its release, the wine was matured for two years, in new oak casks produced from a combination of American and French oak. Following its oak ageing, the wine was aged in bottles for a further two years before its release.
Tasting Cune Rioja Reserva 2011As is always the case with Rioja wines, Cune Rioja Reserva 2011 was released ready to drink. Open a bottle now and you'll find a red Rioja wine in the prime of its life. You can lay this down for another five years, easily, but when it tastes this good, why wait?
Sight:Visually, Cune Rioja Reserva 2011 has a dark red colour, reminiscent of dark cherries.
Smell:Aromatically, there's a lot of red and black fruit right away. This gives way to coffee and balsamic notes, with some spice and vanilla on the end as a result of the oak.
Taste:In the mouth, this is smooth and velvety. There's some fruit, a lot of spice, and a lingering finish. It's a beautiful Rioja Reserva, no doubt about it.
Alcohol content: 13%Serve between 14ºC and 18ºCOptimal consumption period: 2011-2022We recommend to decant the wine 1 hour before servingBest served in Tempranillo Glass
Pairing food with Cune Rioja Reserva 2011Pairing wine and food can be a lot of fun if you don't take it - or yourself - too seriously. Try some modern takes on classic food pairings for Rioja Reserva, like:
Beef:Think a dry-aged steak, or even a juicy hamburger and fries!
Roasts:Nothing quite like a Sunday roast - unless, of course, it's with a quality Rioja Reserva. Roast lamb shank is ideal here.
Stews:It seems that every country and region has its own sort of stew. Try something a little out there like an Irish stew (Guinness, beef and potatoes, basically) or try your own take on Boeuf Bourguignon, cooked and served with Cune Rioja Reserva 2011.