Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España
(the Northern Spanish Wine Company) CVNE
was founded in 1879 in the town of Haro in Rioja, Spain by 2 brothers. Did you know that CVNE also has the name Cune, made by accident? It was a print shop error back in the days when the typesetter thought the V looked odd and replaced it with a U for the wine label. So CVNE and Cune are the same wineries! CVNE is now comprised of 4 wineries: CVNE, Imperial, Viña Real
. Today I have two Rioja wines from CVNE for you.
- CVNE Viña Real Rioja Crianza 2017
- Cune Rioja Reserva 2015
Crianza vs Reserva?
The wines in Spain are labelled based on years of ageing before release. Crianza has 1 year in oak barrel, Reserva has a total of 3 years of ageing with at least 1 year in oak barrel and at least 0.5 years in bottle and Grand Reserva wines have at least 5 years total ageing with a minimum of 2 years in oak and 3 years in bottle. I do not have any Grand Reserva wines to write about for you in this article but added this information for completeness. The wines are aged in both American and French oak barrels, which is a little different from the rest of Europe, as many wineries just age their wines in French oak barrels.
Grapes for Rioja Red Wines?
Tempranillo is the main red grape used in Rioja red blends, with Garnacha, Carignan, Mazeulo, and Graciano added in various proportions to make the house style for each winery. Graciano gives acidity and freshness to the wine. Mazuelo also offers acidity and depth of flavour. Garnacha provides red berry flavours and a touch of spice. Carignan can provide colour, strong tannins, and high acidity to a wine.
One of the nice things about Rioja wines is that the wines are aged by the wineries and are then released when they are ready for you to drink. No need to cellar either of these wines for 2, 5, or 10 years. Open and enjoy!
My Wine Tasting Notes
CVNE Viña Real Rioja Crianza 2017 (BC $22.99)
Made with 90% Tempranillo, with the remainder being a blend of Garnacha and Mazuelo grapes. The wine was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 12 months in French and American barrels.
Appearance: Deep ruby with a garnet tint, about 95% opaque. Tears on glass apparent when swirling.
Nose: A medium intensity nose with red berries, toasty oak, sweet spices, and red plums.
Palate: Very slightly off-dry, this wine is lighter bodied, but has a silky and lightly round mouthfeel. Very fine medium intensity tannins and acidity. The acidity provides more backbone than the tannins in my opinion. Mainly red fruit flavours, along with lesser amounts of plum, blackberries, and raspberries, a touch of oak and chocolate. The bright acidity livens up the fruit flavours.
Finish: A medium-length finishing with tart red fruits, light pepperiness and lightly drying tannins.
CVNE Vina Real Rioja Crianza 2017 and Cune Rioja Reserva 2015 with wines in glasses
Cune Rioja Reserva 2015 (BC $29.49)
This wine is made with 85% Tempranillo, with the remaining 15% a mix of Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, and Mazuelo. The wine spent 18 months in French and American oak barrels.
Appearance: Deep garnet, about 98% opaque.
Nose: A medium intensity nose with candied red fruits, vanilla, ripe red cherries, and touches of cedar, sweet spices, red apples, and plums.
Palate: Slightly off-dry, with a round, thicker, very silky mouthfeel. Quite fruity flavours, giving you red fruits, red plums, red apples, and touches of blackberries, floral, and cedar. Medium intensity fine-grained tannins give this wine a good structure. Acidity also provides support.
Finish: A medium-length finishing with sweet red fruits, sweet spices, and then some pepperiness after the fruit fades. The tannins get stronger and drier to the finish.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
BC Liquor Stores carries the CVNE Viña Real Crianza wine. The Cune Rioja Reserva (and Viña Real Crianza) are available at:
- Marquis Wine Cellar, Vancouver
- Campbell River Lodge, Campbell River
- New District Wine Beer Spirits, Vancouver
- Kitsilano Wine Cellar, Vancouver
- Everything Wine (North Vancouver), North Vancouver
- Nester’s Liquor Store, Whistler
- Cork & Barrel Spirit Merchants, Oak Bay
- Sisto’s River City Liquor Store, Mission
- Everything Wine (Surrey), Surrey
- Jak’s Westwood, Coquitlam
- Everything Wine, Vancouver
- Westgate Liquor Store, Maple Ridge
- Plus Royal Oak, Saanich
- Plus Cordova Bay, Victoria
- Everything Wine (Langley), Langley
- Cranbrook Street Liquor Store, Cranbrook
- Fraser Heights Wine Cellar, Surrey
- Robson Wine Beer Spirits, Vancouver
- Everything Wine, Abbotsford
- Nelson Liquor Store, Nelson
Thank you to Pacific Wines and Spirits for providing me with these wines to review.