CVNE Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana

The name is a bit of a mouthful - the Spanish initials CVNE stand for `Vinicultural Company of the North of Spain`. But in Spain it is affectionately known as `Cooney`, and it has been gracing Spanish (and international) dinner tables for generations. At the very top of the range is the Gran Reserva Imperial. It cellars immensely well - I`ve had a few mature Riojas in my time, but I vividly remember an Imperial 1968 as one of the absolute best.

CVNE was founded in 1879 at the peak of the Rioja boom; the joint founders were two brothers from Bilbao, whose descendants still manage the company today. It began as a purely negociant company, buying and selling grapes and finished wine, but soon moved on to planting vineyards of its own. The arrival of Imperial in 1920 cemented CVNE`s position as one of the very top Rioja bodegas; it took its name from the Imperial pint format in which it was originally sold to the English market. Imperial has always enjoyed privileged treatment, with separate winemaking and cellaring facilities at the bodega. After fermentation, it reposes in barrel for some years in the Eiffel cellar, purpose-designed by Gustave, he of the Tower; Rioja has always had a bit of a thing for celebrity architects. The winemaking model is classic Gran Reserva; the very best fruit of a vintage given long aging in French and American oak barrels. It is only made when vintage conditions are good enough. (NT 25/01/21)

There are currently no wines for this area.